By Michael Eboh
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, reiterated its determination to continue its fight against corruption, noting that fight against the vice is a struggle for nation building and the future generation.
Speaking at the 49th annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, in Abuja, Buhari stated that the Federal Government had recognized the damaging effect of corruption on the economy and was doing everything to address the issue.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, explained that corruption and impunity grows when accountability is disregarded and people get away with all manner of questionable things and accountants are unable to check them.
He described corruption as a gross violation of human rights, blaming it for the hardship witnessed by a large majority of the population.
He said, “I urge you now to always see corruption in its true color as a gross violation of human right. For the majority of our people, the millions that are in hardship, the sick, the helpless, corruption is the major reason why they cannot go to school, why we have few equipments and doctors in our hospital. Corruption diverts public resources thereby causes much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary death in the country.”
“If we do not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, we will not get the result that we need. On our path, we will continue to provide the desired leadership and I am certain and optimistic that the glorious day we all long for will not be long in coming. Corruption, our greatest enemy will certainly fight back, but we must continue to fight to effect a change to our value system.”
He expressed confidence that the initiative of ICAN would greatly assist government at all levels to be more transparent and accountable to the people.
However, in his keynote address, former Director of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Agency, Professor Patrick Lumumba, stated that Nigerians are not yet tired of corruption that is why the practice still thrives in the country.
He lamented that in a society where people celebrate those that fraudulently enrich themselves, corruption will continue to thrive.
He said, “The day Nigerians become tired of corrupt practices, the actions that would follow would put an end to graft.
“Corruption is a crime against humanity. Experiences have demonstrated that if a people in a country are sufficiently fed up they will rise up. If we think that the international community will solve our problems, then we have shown that we are incapable of solving them.
“Sometimes, I think Nigerians and many Africans are not fed up. Because the day we are fed up, things will begin to change. But as long as we celebrate thieves, as long as we celebrate money no matter how they are got, everybody will want to have the money and they don’t care about how it is got. The day we begin to get angry, the country will change in one month.”