REPRESENTATIVES of media and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria have scored Buhari administration low in the fight against corruption.
The groups are united in their views that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks political will to confront corruption head long.
They made this statement on Wednesday during a radio program “Public Conscience”, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG), in Abuja to commemorate the 2020 International Anti-Corruption day.
Eze Onyekpere, the executive director of Centre for Social Justice, expressed worry about the reluctance of the Buhari administration to sanction public holders indicted of corruption.
He noted that the International Anti-Corruption Day should serve as a reminder to reawaken the consciousness of the government and Nigerians that the fight against corruption is not over yet.
He, therefore, called on the ģovernment to refresh its mechanism, processes and procedures in the anti-graft fight, urging the president to sanction those indicted of corruption.
He also advised that the government should be proactive rather than being reactive. And this could be achieved “through education, prosecution, investing in technology to detect those involved in fraudulent transactions and through taking all necessary steps like the judicial, legislative and administrative steps will take Nigeria very close to eradicating corruption in the Nigeria society,” he said.
In the same vein, Ajibola Amzat , Editor of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, identified the lack of strategy by President Buhari-led government as one of the main reasons the country is not making expected progress in the fight against corruption.
“I still think this government does not have the method to fight corruption. The president may have a very good intention but it seems he does not have a clear strategy to fight corruption.
“And It is not a rocket science because already there are laws this government can use to ensure that corruption is fought to standstill. If the government is serious about fighting corruption, just make sure that every transaction of the government is kept in the open,” he said.
Amzat also gave pass mark to the media, saying the media in Nigeria has lived up to its responsibility of keeping the government accountable in line with the section 22 of the Nigerian constitution.
Fidelis Macleva, the investigative editor with the Daily Trust, lamented the prevalence of corruption and the abuse of power in the three tiers of government in Nigeria. He noted that lack of political will to punish perpetrators of corruption by the government was deterring Nigeria in the fight against corruption.
He also called on citizens to reduce their demands and pressure mounted on political appointees and high ranking public office holders which also encourages corruption.
“Politics comes to play here, the fight against corruption is selective. So, long as you allow impunity to thrive instead of frontally attacking the issues of corruption, we will continue to run in circles,” he stated.
Earlier, an investigative journalist with The Cable, Chinedu Asadu lamented citizens’ apathy in participating in governance. He stressed that the citizen’s attitude partly contributes to the culture of corruption.
Asadu called for active citizen participation in the fight against corruption.
He also expressed the need for strong institutional framework in order to build a sustainable system of fighting corrupt practice in the country.
“The attention is usually on the heads of government agencies, but we need to have a strong system when talking about sustainability. Most often the fight against corruption is on the heads and the key leaders but the system is just very fragile.”
Several callers who weighed in on the topic also berated the government’s lackluster effort to fighting corruption.
The United Nations has marked every 9th of December as the International Anti-Corruption Day.