How Government can Eradicate Corruption

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Muhammadu Buhari

Saturday letter2

Corruption is a leadership virus eating the economic prosperity of most African countries especially Nigeria. Corruption is a systemic leadership tool destroying good governance, democratic values and economic prosperity of the largest black African nation. Corruption in Nigeria is deeply ingrained in the national ethics, politics, civil society, public and private sectors. The present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari is doing its best to rid the Nigeria society of corruption. But its fight against corruption has been futile and perceived to be targeted at political opponents. Every successive government battles against corruption are considered as instrument of witch-hunting political enemies rather than as an instrument of economic development.

The truth of the matter is that each government’s model of approaching their fight against corruption is weak, destructive and undiplomatic over the years. Thus, the fight against corruption becomes dead at end of their tenure and leadership. The failure of government to address corruption is caused by wrong approach of fighting corruption. Each government tries to use leadership model in fighting corruption in Nigeria instead of system model. Therefore, after the end of their tenure the fight against corruption ceases.

World politics shows that the best model in dealing with corruption is system model of fighting corruption. Global economic prosperity is traced to three powerful instruments: people, system and technology. Systems are state instruments used in sustaining good governance and driving state policies to fulfillment. It serves as check and balance with the intent to avoid abuse of power and define separation of power. President Buhari is perceived to be doing a great work by fighting corruption.  But all those fight will end at the expiration of his government. Undue interference by successive governments on the system that would eradicate corruption from Nigeria is our greatest enemy.

The immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan reiterated the fact that the solution to corruption is anchored on a building system that would fight corruption.  I am calling on UK, EU, USA and lovers of Nigeria to prevail on our government to design a system model approach in fighting corruption. Leadership model is ineffective and is causing more harm. It makes lovers of democracy see the fight against corruption as dictatorial. The recent removal of the National Judicial Council (NJC) Chairman Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen is a key example of government fighting corruption using leadership model rather than system model.

Pedro Ukokobili,
Lagos