He made the call in the lecture, entitled ‘Unexplained Wealth and the Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria,” which he delivered on Saturday at the University of Ibadan’s 2021 Distinguished Leadership Lecture series, held at the Trenchard Hall of the institution.
Ndume stated: ‘The fight against corruption is fight for the nation and must start from the top to the bottom. This is what I call: ‘Do it all.’ One should not be mistaken on how good it is to have riches, but toxic riches should be abhorred because it pollutes the society. It changes our good culture. It breeds injustice and impunity. Every citizen has a role to play. To this end, there is the need to look at the incidence of corruption, most especially, those occasioned by public officers who are in trust of public wealth.
‘Our crusade against this monster should start from the politicians, top public servants, civil servants, down to local governments staff. For the perpetrators, it is not difficult to identify the tendencies exhibited by the officers, acquiring landed property in and outside the country, having fat bank deposits, buying expensive cars, or marrying so many wives.
‘The Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) such as Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Ministers, House of Assembly members, Commissioners and Local Government Chairmen and those directly connected to the finances of government such as Directors of Finance, treasures, accountants and revenue officers are in this category.
‘The visibility of the perpetrators is loud in the government: cars, houses, parties, wives, dress, jewelry and so on. All of them are quite visible to the locals, who have the instinct to ask questions.’
Ndume also stated that the whistle blower policy, which, according to him, had stillbirth before it became law must be revisited, adding that the motivation should not just be the reward, but patriotism.
‘Public policy should be guided and in this case, matters of unexplained wealth should be excluded for the application of this provision. The Code of Conduct Bureau has a duty to require every public officer to make declaration of assets periodically.
‘So, the fight against corruption is not a one-off fight that can be won at once but a continuous lifetime struggle that we must all join hands to kill the monster right from the cradle anytime it is identified.’