Abuja -A Professor of Soil Science, Ebong Eshett, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to intensify its war against corruption, so as to achieve sustainable economic development.
Eshett gave the advice while presenting a paper on “Reforming, Restructuring and Re-positioning Nigeria for True Greatness and Sustainable Economic Development’’ at the 10th ‘African Icons of our Generation’ award in Abuja.
He said that the war against corruption must be intensified and fought to a logical conclusion to restore the glory of Nigeria.
“If government is sincere, the war will be won someday and our country, Nigeria, will be better for it.
“Majority of Nigerians are already happy and impressed with Mr President’s determination and strategies so far articulated toward fighting the corruption war.
“There is hope that he will succeed in this battle, given the support and cooperation of Nigerians,’’ the don said.
Eshett, however, expressed optimism that the country would come out of its economic, political and security challenges.
According to him, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, and the destiny of country lies in the hands of both the leaders and the followers.
“Nigeria has yet one more opportunity for a change under the current leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Let us all give him all the cooperation that he deserves in this onerous task of reforming, restructuring and repositioning Nigeria for true greatness and genuine socio-economic development.’’
Eshett, a Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, also urged Nigerians not to relent in praying for the country, noting that the citizens must return to God.
He said that Nigerians should intensify prayer and fasting, adding that a deliberate attempt should be made to embrace righteousness.
“ Nigerians must not relent in their prayers for those appointed to rule over them.
“So that God can touch their hearts for them to rule with the fear of God and be just and fair to all and sundry in the country.’’
In her remarks, Mrs Pauline Tallen, the former Deputy-Governor of Plateau, urged Nigerians to truly love their country.
Tallen, who received an award as the woman of the year, said that showing love to the country would help to curb various forms of corruption.
She also urged Nigerians to support the President in his fight against corruption.
“Nigeria has all it takes to be one of the largest economies in the world, but our problem has been lack of good leadership.
“We thank God, He has blessed us with a leader; we can see the commitment, the sincerity of purpose to fight corruption and his body language clearly shows transparency.
“He needs the support of all of us and if we key in as true change agent, I bet you, everybody will live happily.’’
Tallen, a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Board of Trustees, however, expressed disappointment on the part of politicians that embezzled public funds and operate foreign accounts.
“It is madness for people to embezzle billions of Naira. What are you doing with billions? What are you doing with having foreign accounts?
“I do not envy anybody having foreign accounts, for what? It is because you do not love your country that is why you will do such a thing.
“If you love your country, put the money here., If it is clean money, then you should not be afraid to invest in Nigeria,’’ she said.
Speaking in the same vein, Dr (Mrs) Catherine Okpareke, an award recipient, noted that the solution to tackling corruption was for the citizens to be motivated.
In addition, Okpareke said that the country needed the right leadership, which she said Nigeria has been blessed through the leadership of Buhari.
“It is for all of us to fight corruption, not the President alone. We should be looking up him, he is only showing example.
“Change is here, but it starts with me and you. So, anywhere we are, we should encourage the President to fight the war against corruption,’’ she said.
The New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an award and dinner night was organised by the Accolade Communications Limited in collaboration with the International Centre for Comparative Leadership for African and Blacks in Diaspora. (NAN)