As Nigerians join the rest of the world to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), has advocated for a death penalty for corrupt officers in the country.
Obi was speaking in Abuja on Monday, during a rally to mark the day which has the theme: “United Against Corruption. My constituency, my project.”
She regretted that many people, who had looted the economy, were moving freely in their houses and even sitting in the parliament, urging Nigerians to stand up against such characters.
She called on public officers owing salaries to do the needful so as not to encourage people to get involved in corrupt tendencies.
According to her, the government should ask themselves how many hospitals and schools they have built to improve the society.
“We are standing here today because many women are dying in our hospitals due to the poor healthcare system; many young Nigerians are in the universities without allowances.
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“We are standing here today because somebody gave us scholarship. Many years ago, our colonial masters gave scholarships to build human capital that will build Nigeria. The story is different today.
“What is happening to our education? Our public schools have been rendered almost powerless. Many people have so many houses; why do you have so many houses when you can sleep on only one bed at a time?
“We stand here to say that all those who are found guilty and charged for corruption should be brought to book.
“I want to advocate that those who are looting the economy should be sentenced to death if found guilty.”
Obi, however, called on the Nigerian government to stand against corruption, especially since President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed to fight the menace.
She, therefore, said that corruption should be fought from all fronts, and called on those in government, who had been indicted in corruption cases, to step down from office.
Mr Newton Otsamaye, Manager, Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) project, an NGO, said that there was the need for a consensus to end corruption in the country.
“We are collaborating with civil society groups, ICPC, NOA so that we can have collective engagement to end corruption.
“As Nigerians, we are tired of living without water, hospitals, good roads and transparent government. We are here to join other voices to end corruption in our government, Churches, families, schools, parliament and executive.”
Otsamaye called on communities to report abandoned projects in their various constituencies to ICPC.
Mrs Rasheeda Okoduwa, Director, Public Enlightenment, ICPC, in her remarks, said that corruption should be fought to a standstill from the home before it spread to the wider society.
She emphasised the need for Nigerians to report corruption cases to ICPC to enable it bring those involved to book, saying that there was no hiding place for corrupt officers.