The Corruption Buhari Is Not Fighting

President Muhammadu Buhari has made the fight against corruption a cornerstone of his administration and he appears to be gaining some ground, especially when it comes to political office holders and public service officials.

But the fixation on corruption in public expenditure has made the Administration overlook some more critical facet of corruption which are now threatening the social fabric of the country.

The Buhari administration is not doing anything on some acts of corruption which may breed a national army of discontent youths that may rise against people in government, sooner than later. These acts include:

Sale of Government Jobs by Public Officials:

 There have been reports of sale of government jobs by some unscrupulous officials. The Nigerian Senate recently brought this into the open when Senator Danjuma Laah mentioned it during a recent plenary.

Giving of Job Slots to Legislators, Presidency, Ministers etc:

This is another facet of corruption that is already known by Nigerians, but the practice has continued unabated. This practice has denied qualified Nigerians employment opportunities.

Environmental Corruption:

Environmental crime covers activities ranging from illegal logging, illegal trade in ozone depleting substances, dumping and illegal transport of hazardous wastes, to unreported fishing. It poses serious threats to the environment, contributing to poverty and food insecurity.

Jumping Of Queues:

There is no culture of orderliness and respect for queues among Nigerians. It is often a matter of who you know and how important you look. This happens often at government offices, hospitals, banks and other service providers.

Nepotism:

Nepotism is the granting of jobs to one’s relatives or friends in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities. The Buhari administration had also been accused of nepotism.

THE WHISTLER spoke to the Chairman, Abuja Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Folarin Aluko on steps the Buhari government should take to address these issues.

Aluko spoke against the backdrop of the International Anti-Corruption day celebrated globally every December 9.

The NBA Chairman called for speed in the dispensation of corruption cases to serve as deterrent and ensure justice is not delayed.

According to him, the issue of jobs should not be shrouded in secrecy. He called on the government to advertise and make job vacancies public.

He said: “In the issue of jobs for sale, I think the government should make everything public. With regards to that, once you publish the vacancies and the eventual results are published, it makes things much easier. The government should advertise and disclose vacancies.”

On giving of job slots to political appointees, Folarin said “I think that is very wrong, and the government should stop it totally and immediately. I think once these things are disclosed, it becomes very easy to trace; people can know who got what, when and how and all of that.

“Corruption is not only a crime, it is a culture. The first step that should be taken is sensitization of what amounts to this corruption we’re talking about. And how do you change a culture? First of all, people need to know exactly what this corruption thing is. What that means is that there should a lot of public awareness, a lot of sensitization, a lot of public advocacy.

 “That misconception about what corruption means is a huge problem. When somebody is even engaging in what should be called corruption act, it might be difficult to convince the person that its wrong, because the person might see it as right. There should be a lot of public awareness.

“Also, corruption cases should be promptly tried and dispense with. So speed is required in trying the cases that will deter people from engaging in corruption,” he said.

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