Corruption is a national crisis -Gov Lamido
by Leon Usigbe and Jacob Segun Olatunji,
Nigerian Tribune, Friday, 15 June 2012
GOVERNOR Sule Lamido of Jigawa State has urged Nigerians to look beyond the allegations of bribery and corruption currently rocking the House of Representatives, saying that corruption is a national crisis that must be tackled holistically.
Fielding questions from newsmen after paying a courtesy call on the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Bamanga Tukur, in Abuja on Thursday, Governor Lamido called for the adoption of an established national standard of behaviour to re-orientate the people on corruption.
Explaining that the people in the National Assembly could not act differently since they were also Nigerians, he regretted that every stratum of the society had been permeated by the cankerworm, adding that unless there was a determination on the part of Nigerians to do away with corruption, the evil would continue to thrive in national life.
According to him, “the people in the National Assembly, government houses, armed forces, police, markets, universities are all drawn from the Nigerian environment. So, when you are talking about corruption, why don’t you do some kind of reflection? Are we upright?
“It is a very serious problem. It is not an issue of Farouk or not. It is a Nigerian crisis. Are you upright? If you go to the market, people try to make money out of you. If it is oranges you want to buy, they put big ones on top and the little ones under the basket.
It is really a pity that Governor Lamido has gotten it all wrong in this very pedestrian take of corruption in Nigeria which I think can be attributable to the fact that Nigerians see most governors as being very corrupt.
First, leadership by example is usually the norm. Leaders in any society cannot blame the citizenry for the corruption crisis in their midst. Will Governor Lamido blame whatever he does, with respect to punctuality, cleanliness, being truthful, etc. on his children? If he behaves like a gentleman, his kids will copy him and behave likewise.
Second, how can he compare traders’ gimmicks in market places to what our leaders are doing with respect to bribery, embezzlement, etc. ?
When late Gen. Murtala Mohammed became Head of State, he led by example which completely changed the way Nigerians attended to people requiring services from government agencies. Also during the time of Ret. Gen. Buhari and late Gen. Tunde Idiagbon, Nigerians became orderly on queues which were always formed – no matter how many people waited for services. This became the practice after the Buhari-Idiagbon government’s massive publicity for War Against Indiscipline (WAI) urged people to consider orderliness and other social practices as ways of living.
However, when Ret. Gen. Babangida became Head of State, “settle”, a verb, crept into the Nigerian lexicon as a euphemistic noun for “corruption”. It remains to this day Babangida’s legacy.
Leaders are in the drivers’ seat of state which they can steer in any direction they want. The tail surely cannot wag the dog.
Corruption permeates all sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the water sector. While it is believed that billions of Naira has been spent on water supply projects in Nigeria since Independence, there are figures as low as only about a third of this huge expenditure reportedly finding its way into actually providing potable water for the people. This has not only resulted in very poor access to potable water In Nigeria but has also retarded the progress of the move towards attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Finally, this blogger has written on the issue of corruption in the water sector in Nigeria as could be seen in the following links: