Abuja—Kenya’s former anti-corruption czar, Patrick Lumumba, yesterday held Nigeria responsible for underdevelopment of Africa through its poverty caused by graft in public service.
Consequently, he called for total support for the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari, so Nigeria can take its place in the comity of nations.
Lumumba, who spoke at the seminar, entitled The role of the legislature in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, organised by the anti-corruption committees of the Senate and House of Representatives in Abuja, said for Nigeria and by extension, Africa, to develop, Nigerian leaders must be ready to battle the cankerworm.
“Africa is behind because Nigeria has not released her potential. It’s time the leaders rose because one in every five Africans is a Nigerian,’’ said Lumumba in his keynote address.
Lumumba, a professor of law, described Nigeria as a microcosm of Africa and, as such, could not afford to get things wrong.
He stressed the need to enthrone behavioural change culture in Nigeria, adding that the country must put in place stringent mechanism that would effectively checkmate corruption.
He said: ‘’The three arms of government must strengthen and not undermine the institutions that are meant to fight corruption so that Nigeria can realise its potential.
“People must be made to know that if you reap where you have not sown, there are consequences. Men only change their behaviours when there is a threat pain.
“Institutions are the heart of the fight against corruption but he (Buhari) will not succeed if the legislature is not behind him and the institutions are not strengthened, because only institutions defy time and outlive those that live on graft.’’
Earlier in his opening remarks, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said Nigeria had faile to seriously fight corruption for more than 40 years.
According to him, the National Assembly will partner with the Federal Government for lasting solutions to the problem.