Political Parties Reveal Plans to Curb Corruption

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Udora Orizu

With 2019 general election barely one month away, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP), Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) and African Action Congress (AAC) have revealed their plans to curb corruption in the country if they win at the polls.

Representatives of these parties explained their strategies at a debate organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), tagged the “Big Debate” with the theme, ‘Corruption and Accountability’.

Spokesperson for the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Kassim Afegbua while explaining ways the party will successfully wipe out corruption, said PDP will promote the culture of whistle-blowing and protecting witnesses.

According to him, “The global definition of corruption is monopoly plus discretion minus accountability. It’s the monopoly power of an individual that makes him abuse his discretionary power. What we will do as a government is to ensure that we deny the institutions and agencies fighting corruption of that monopoly, rather than have a Chairman taken from the Nigerian police as EFCC or ICPC chairman, we will have a board made up of distinguished Nigerians who have proven record of integrity and accountability, because the history and perception of the Nigerian police, is not one where you can find angels.”

He lamented that that the individuals making commentaries on corrupt persons are were also enmeshed in endemic corruption.

“As a government once you are able to deal with the issue of abuse of monopoly of power, you will now to ensure that there are special courts established to deal with corruption cases, and conclusively deal with incidences of prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases,” Afegbua said

The representative of YPP, Olawale Martins, stated that the YPP strategy was centered around the use of ICT.

In his words, “We intend to apply a systematic approach. It’s centered around the use of ICT to tackle the problem of corruption. On the issue of budget padding and contract inflation, after an analysis we discovered that over 90 percent of the current corruption problem that we are having is as a result of this two sources and we will tackle this using external forensic auditing.

Explaining further, he said before budget goes to National Assembly, the party will make sure that its being watched and audited, to ensure that there’s no duplication.

“On the issue of contract inflation we are going to automate the system. The attitude of fighting corruption in this part of the world is like that of bow and arrow. Automate the system, make sure that procurement is done electronically. This will reduce drastically the issue of corruption in this country. Official corruption is the main reason why we are where we are today and the only way to put an end to it is to be able to reduce the human effects and this we will able achieve within four years because we have stipulated our procedures on how things will be done.”

The Presidential Candidate of ANRP, Tope Fasua said his party will use technology to tackle corruption.

He said, “Technology always delivers, one of the things that causes corruption in this country is addiction and psychological problems. In our party’s constitution what we are going to do is to live by example, we are going to declare out assets, leadership by example is great, technology is very important, psychological tests of people who are running government is very important.”

In similar vein, the presidential candidate of AAC, Omoyele Sowore noted that technology is very important to curb corruption.

“It’s very important that in dealing with corruption in Nigeria, using technology to aid prevention is important. There’s what they call block chain technology with encryption that you can use. The biggest problem is how we do our transaction in the public sphere, and the lack of transparency in the way we conduct our business. The moment you remove that all the thieves will be left dry because before they get anything done, we have seen it and tracked it. The second thing we are going to do is ensure that our assets is made publicly available, it should be something that you can download,” Sowore said.

The National Secretary of ACPN, Paul Isamade who represented Dr, Oby Ezekwesili said ACPN will fight corruption from the roots.

He said, “Corruption exists even inside the churches. Traditional institutions also aid corruption by giving awards to corrupt people. Fighting corruption in this country has to take a different dimension, apart from strengthening the institutions that are empowered to fight corruption, the national orientation agency in Nigeria is not doing anything about it. We need every agency to enlighten the people continuously even down to secondary schools.”