Former Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Nuhu Ribadu and former Chairman of the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Justice Mustapha Akanbi rtd., have called on the executive, comprising the president and governors of the 36 states to lead exemplary lives by cutting down on ostentatious living as a way of reducing corruption.
Ribadu who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) challenged the executives to reduce their convoys, the private jets and all that as a way of sending the right signals to those they are leading.
“Preventing or fighting corruption requires your personal lead as political leaders and those at the pinnacle in your states. More than anything else, installing probity, transparency and honesty is through leading by example.
“Personally, I heave all this reasonability at the doorsteps of the executives because by my experience, I tend to believe that when the chief executive (the president or the governor) behaves well, the other arms of the government appear to follow suit. Improving all living condition of the people is another means of discouraging corruption”, he said adding that performance on the part of the executive is a tool to cut down theft of public funds.
“When a public servant needs not to source for his own security, have his own water and electricity sources and save for the best of education and healthcare, the instinct to steal will drastically go down. But when he sees the money available and it is not used to better his condition and that of the rest of the citizenry, the urge to steal it becomes more intense”, the former chairman of the anti-corruption agency said, adding that there could be some deviants notwithstanding these measures hence the need for sanctions.
“It is commendable that many states are instituting some measures of addressing transparency; the electronic payment system which significantly reduces cases of direct stealing, ghost workers, over-invoicing, among others”, he said adding that the most important thing in preventing and tackling corruption successfully is to have honest implementers.
“As is often said, our laws may not be faulty, but operators of the system are wont to be. To fight corruption, the umpire has to be clean, honest and sincere. Dishonesty cannot fight dishonesty; if you are corrupt you cannot have successful anti-corruption campaign. Having a corrupt person pretending to fight corruption only create confusion”, he said.
In his submission, Akanbi stated that building system of fighting corruption is not an easy task as it must be achieved with commitment, honesty, and political will by the leadership in governance.
The retired ICPC boss who posited that anti-corruption institutions should be adequately funded to combat corruption, stated: “until this (corruption) is reduced to zero level, this country can not make desired progress. Leadership must live by example. Purveyors of corruption are powerful people. You can not lead or fight corruption when you are corrupt.”
He urged incumbent and aspiring governors to put corruption as part of their manifestoes in the subsequent electioneering period. And Nigerians must resolved to fight corruption to a standstill just like in Singapore where the people stood up and said enough is enough of corruption.
Six Governors attended the summit, while the rest were represented by the deputies. The five governors are the host governor, Mr. Babatunde Babatunde Fashola, that of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, that of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiohole, that of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, that of Sokoto, Aliyu Wamako, and that of Zamfara, Alhaji Aziz Yari Abubakar