Eke, Wed. Dec. 18, 2019:
A former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Humphrey Asobie, on Thursday advised the anti-corruption agencies to be holistic and go for the ‘big fishes’ in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Asobie, who was the chairman of the board of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, made this call while speaking as the guest speaker at the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) 2016 roundtable discussion hosted by the United States Embassy.
The discussion had the theme “Corruption: An Impediment to the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Mr. Asobie suggested the use of “shock therapy” and “bing bang strategy” in the fight against corruption, stressing that the most important personalities should be taken in.
“Pick OBJ, IBB, Chibuike Amaechi, Bola Tinubu, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Raji Fashola. They will all think you are mad when you say it,” the Professor of Political Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said.
OBJ is the popular name for former President Olusegun Obasanjo while IBB refers to former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida. Like others mentioned by the don, the former Nigerian leaders have been accused of corruption while in office.
“Corruption is systemic in Nigeria; it’s not just a few certain individuals. It also includes the anti-corruption agencies, they have a problem of corruption.
“It has reached a stage where we are confused as to what is wrong and right, you start to wonder whether it has affected their intellect.”
In his welcome remark, the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, David Young, said the U.S. government is committed to work with Nigeria in fighting corruption and recovering stolen funds.
Sam Saba, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, while speaking said that the major problem the Bureau is facing in the fight against corruption is poor funding.
“The essential thing here is funding, we don’t receive allocation on time and when we do it comes in halves.
“Some countries receive budget of five years but since Obasanjo’s regime, we only receive half and it’s a problem”, Mr. Saba said.
By Ebuka Onyeji