By Funmi Adeyemi
Abuja – Prof. Michael Faborode, former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, says current anti-corruption fight in Nigeria would lead to total national rebirth.
Faborode, who is the Secretary-General, Committee of Vice-Chancellors made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
He said that Nigerians must support the war against corruption which had permeated every facet of life.
“ When we say corruption, it is in everything and not just financial corruption.
“It is corruption in character, honesty, ethics and everything and so the war on corruption is going to be a total war.
“ It is going to be that we have national rebirth in the way we understand things.
“ Look when we were in school, we were very ambitious and we have role models we want to emulate and so hope sustains us and we apply ourselves to our studies.
“But these days, the children have been made totally hopeless.
“They don’t have examples in the nation to emulate, because all they hear is people stealing and so they want to be like them.’’
He maintained that the entire society had been polluted by corruption, saying nothing short of a national rebirth will do the trick.
“The entire society has been entirely damaged by corruption and so any attempt to fight corruption is accepted and must be pursued vigorously.
“The fight against corruption must follow all the laid down rules, laws and it must also be ethical, it must be all-embracing and people must see the transparency in the war against corruption,’’ he said.
In his contribution, Mr Olurotimi Lawrence, a political scientist, noted that the adoption of the whistle blower policy was a paradigm shift in fighting corruption, as legal and bureaucratic bottlenecks are being eliminated.
He also pointed out that the whistle blower policy has worked with unprecedented results, with whistle blowers smiling to the banks with their legitimate shares from loots.
Lawrence said whistle blowers had served more useful purpose than petitions that were largely based on speculations and suspicions.
“ The result of the whistle blower policy is evident for everybody to see, therefore, the policy is a step in the right direction.
“ Also, the five per cent of the looted fund to be given to the ministries, agencies where the money was stolen as advocated by Prof. Sagay is also a step in the right direction.
“The percentage will not only help to enhance the efficiency of the ministry or agency but will also encourage patriotism and faithfulness on the part of civil servant working in such organisations,’’ he said.
He further said that, with the whistle blower policy looters and looted fund have no place to hide anymore, because there are watchful eyes everywhere.
Also, Mrs Adekemi Jegede, a civil servant, urged the Federal Government to give Sagay’s submission a serious thought as it would further strengthen the zeal of corporate Nigeria to kill corruption.
Jegede noted that the fight against corruption especially with the introduction of whistle blower policy had earned Nigeria global respect.
“Corruption has been a major challenge hindering the growth and development of civil servants in particular and the country in general.
“Corruption had rid the country of provision of basic amenities, good governance, development, peace, progress and insecurity.’’
She, however, urged the government to strengthen the anti corruption agencies and make every citizen a stakeholder n the anti corruption crusade.
Mr Benjamin Adeoye, a legal practitioner, argued that the national institutions are at risk of destruction should the current efforts at tackling corruption fail.
Adeoye said incentives such as offering five per cent as a reward to agencies deserve due consideration.
According to him, formulating a legal framework would help sustain the whistle blower policy beyond the tenure of the present government and protect the whistle blowers.
It could be recalled that in early February, the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission(EFCC) recovered 9.8 million US dollar belonging to Mr Andrew Yakubu, former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) hidden in a house in Kaduna.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed subsequently attributed the recovery of the huge sum to the whistle blowing policy of the government.
The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti- corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, recently advocated that agencies where loots were recovered should also be entitled to five per cent.
Sagay, who made the suggestion when he featured on a television programme, said that the five per cent should be used to enhance the operations of the affected agencies.
According to him, a mechanism should be put in place to ensure judicious use of such fund.