Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI): Would Nigeria Ever Be Out Of the Storm? - By Ogo-Oluwa Adelakun - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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Without a doubt, the issue of corruption in high levels of government as well as in various sectors, has created problems ranging from having very weak institutions to the insecurity being fought in different enclaves. Many believe that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric and soul of the country in a way that society almost glorifies the act and then proceeds to shame those who live honestly. No wonder President Muhammad Buhari said we had to kill corruption before it kills us during a campaign rally in pot Harcourt in 2015.

Although some say even with the coming of President Buhari, the country still has not forgone the habit of punishing good and rewarding bad behaviour, a story for another day.

The last abysmal ranking of Nigeria in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) clearly showed all that the country had a long way to go in addressing corruption in politics, security and even the judiciary. Although the federal government’s initial response carried a defensive tone, one is not surprised by the announcement made public yesterday by one of the President’s aides, Lauretta Onochie,  on methods the country plans to adopt in curbing the menace.

According to Mrs. Onochie Nigerians who flaunt lifestyles they cannot afford offline and online will now be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

The summary of the decision is for persons with questionable wealth to receive invitations by the anti-graft agencies to explain the sources of their wealth and properties.

On the surface, this sounds like a great idea and a step in the right direction which will ultimately go far in reducing corrupt practices in the country and likely restore the old culture of shaming such acts as some have opined already. I mean those who have no skeletons in their cupboards need not panic about such directive.

However, the predominant reaction to this announcement has revealed that indeed corruption has further widened the already existing trust deficit between the government and the governed as many shared their thoughts on how what looks good may return to haunt ordinary Nigerians later.

Those who have opposed the new powers of the EFCC or ICPC to invite just about anyone percieved to have questionable wealth or property, have argued that such power would quickly become a weapon in the hands of the government against opposition.

Some have reminded their fellow citizens on the Nigerian habit of quickly profiling young people who look at certain way to be cybercriminals as they feel the power would be an excuse for new forms of harassment in the country.

In other debates the question is, who decides who to invite for such questioning? Would such be as a result of extensive investigations or would the government engage whistleblowers again ?

Meanwhile, Citizens who are happy about the announcement have asked that the federal government begins its lifestyle audit from President Buhari to all other past and present public office holders because charity needs to begin at home for it not to be seen as true and not a form of intimidation or political vendetta against those who do not support this administration.

We have to kill corruption but if people need to be questioned, then our leaders should set good examples by getting front row seats.

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