By Dayo Johnson, Akure
A FORMER External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, yesterday, fingered corruption as Nigeria’s biggest problem.
According to him, “No one can be a billionaire in this present Nigeria without being corrupt.
”To be a millionaire is still alright but if you are a billionaire, you are corrupt and that means you are cutting corners”.
Akinyemi spoke in Akure at a lecture, to herald the inauguration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko for second term entitled, Leadership, Democracy and Development; A paradigm relationship of Governor Olusegun Mimiko second term in office.
He lamented that in Nigeria of today there are no more values to hold on to unlike in the 60s.
”Parents not only encourage their children to cheat to beat the system, they aid and abet the children in the nefarious activities,” the former minister said.
”Akinyemi continued: No one believes anymore in the concept of society. In my youth, to be accused of theft or any other criminal offence was tantamount to being banished from society. To be convicted was tantamount to suicide. But now no one asks for the source of the wealth.
”People in jail,accused of murder, run for and win elections. More than a score of members of the Nigerian Senate have EFCC court cases against them. Only in Nigeria do you steal billions and escape with less than a million naira fine.
”To move forward, the political elite must make a conscious effort to arrive at a consensus that will be the outcome of negotiation, give and take,compromises.
” The system to be put in place should not reflect temporary advantages secured through a temporary monopoly of power.
He asked Mimiko to maintain the tempo of developmental projects put up by his administration in the last four years.
The lecturer, who insisted that the governor must score Grade A during his second term, congratulated him for his encouraging achievements in his first term in office and charged him not to relent on his oars.
”At the same time, I commiserate and feel sorry for him because having set such high standards of achievements, he is going to be under considerable pressure to maintain that high level of achievements for second term.,”Akinyemi stated.
”Now that Governor Mimiko has scored a distinction in the first term, I am also expecting another Grade A performance during this term.
”I know what Ondo State looked like in the 50s at least as seen through the eyes of a young adult. I have seen what it looked like in the 1990s and what it looks like now. I am impressed by what I see.”