His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie has decried the level of corruption going on in the country, especially as Nigeria is supposed to be waging a war on corruption. He said the development has become alarming, with government officials publicly accusing themselves of corruption, while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is also facing internal challenges.
In a statement, Okogie said EFCC is supposed to be part of the solution to the problem of corruption, but the twist of events has shown that the war on corruption has been lost.
He said: “The war on corruption never took off in the first instance. Our President is reported to have said if we do not deal with corruption, corruption will destroy us. Isn’t this country on the path of destruction already? Nigerians hear of huge sums of money being allocated to one government agency or the other, but the quality of life in this country continues to deteriorate. Whither Nigeria?”
Okogie listed other sources of anxiety to include insecurity, menace of herdsmen, bandits and Boko Haram, among others.
“Insecurity is not abating,” he said. “It is still dangerous to move around Nigeria. Kidnappers and herdsmen are on the prowl. Bandits have taken over some parts of Nigeria. There is no sense in which it can be said with sincerity and accuracy that Boko Haram has been defeated. The fact is: Nigerians cannot go about their legitimate business.
“Yet, Nigeria has an assortment of security agencies. Huge sums of money are reportedly allocated to security. State Governors have unfettered access to “security votes.” Yet, Nigerians are kidnapped for ransom. VIPs and the so-called great ones flout government’s laws flagrantly.”
The former Archbishop said it is extremely difficult for the economy to be in good health, when there is so much corruption and insecurity.
He said: “Nigerians are poorer today than they were 10 years ago. Today, truth has become a crime, while dishonesty is rewarded, and competence no longer matters.
“But Nigeria needs leaders who are morally, ethically and technically competent to manage its affairs…“
Is this the way we are going to mark our 60th Independence Anniversary? A word is sufficient for the wise.”