The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has fingered corruption as anexistential threat to Nigeria and the single most important hurdle between “our country and potential greatness.”
The group has therefore listed measures to be taken by the Federal Government if it is serious to tackle corruption in the country.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje who stated this in a press statement titled ‘Rekindling Nigeria’s Anti- Corruption: Options for Fresh Strategy’ on the occasion of the International Anti- Corruption Day expressed concern that the anti-graft war in Nigeria “has been viewed with suspicion by the citizenry because of the perception that it is selective, ineffective, and has therefore stumbled on without credibility”
According to him the war against corruption in Nigeria “must move beyond the tokenism of occasional recovery of funds and often theatrical convictions to the hard task of tackling the underlying structural defects, institutional failure, mediocre political leadership and other sundry predisposing factors.”
Owoaje harping on the theme’s for this year celebration “Recover with Integrity: #UnitedAgainstCorruption” stated that his group like other Nigerians are “appalled at how bribery in public and private life, even in ways that are not immediately apparent, has inhibited national development, enthroned mediocrity and inefficiency, encouraged unfair competitive advantages, while significantly eroding society’s moral ethos.”
While drawing attention to the recent disclosure by the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which listed the Nigeria Judiciary at the apex of the Nigeria Corruption Index, he declared corruption as the most potent culprit of Nigeria’s retarded socioeconomic development.
Owoaje therefore tasked the Federal Government to ensure all anti-corruption institutions and ancillary bodies are given the much-needed teeth to stop barking and start biting without prejudice.
He also called for total reformation of the criminal justice system and the police in order to engender a more modern, proactive judiciary, and an honest, people-friendly policing service respectively.
The statement read in part “Government at all levels must, as a matter of urgency, initiate the exemplary process of cutting the corrupt and unwieldy cost of governance. This should begin with a holistic pruning of the bizarre remuneration and perks for political office holders, which have made politics attractive as a shortcut to filthy lucre.
“ The national anti-corruption strategy should be removed from the immediate purview of, and dependence on, the Presidency. Otherwise, it will remain feeble, myopic and prone to political exploitation.
“The national orientation policy should be rejigged and empowered with a mandate that will birth a reformed civil service and civic space rid of the tribalism, nepotism, lobbying, and sleaze they have been associated with.
“ In line with this year’s International Anti-corruption Day, government must ensure that all those saddled with the important task of managing the resources for alleviating the harsh medical and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, must appreciate the onerous responsibility, and help Nigeria and its citizens recover with integrity by standing #UnitedAgainstCorruption.”