Prolific poet, dramatist and literary critic, Prof. Niyi Osundare, on Monday declared that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration “lacks the will and capacity to fight corruption because it’s immersed in theft and graft.”
He described the Nigerian political class as people who owe Nigeria no responsibility but who are only holding the country hostage.
Speaking in Lagos at a public lecture on the state of the nation organized by the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, said a corruption-compliant ruler cannot rule a corrupt-free country, stressing that leaders can only rule properly, according to the rule of law.
Speaking on the topic “Why we no longer blush: Corruption as the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the Professor described Nigerians as strong people but whose zeal have only been damaged by the sordid activities of the corrupt ruling class.
The professor, who also blamed the retardation of the people and the denial of prosperity and development of the Nation on the tainted practices of the civil rulers, said Nigeria has turned itself into the final playground for corruption. “Nigeria is the cesspool and graveyard of corruption”, the Professor said, charging all Nigerian citizens to get angry with corruption and take back the nation to make it work again.
He warned Nigerians to shun corruption and maintain the zeal they carried in January until they are able to totally battle out corruption. At the center point of all catchphrases employed by the professor while describing the prevailing system of corruption in Nigeria is “corruption is the fastest growing industry in Nigeria”, while he also stressed that the dent caused by the enterprise of corruption has held back the development of the people and the state.
“Nigerians must kill corruption before corruption kills Nigeria”, the Professor added, employing his muscles to convey the picture for resonance.
He said: “All we have is investigation without an end, recommendation without implementation and reports that are eventually dumped”.
He flayed Jonathan’s position on declaration of assets, stressing that his “I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude” to matters of probity and transparency was condemnable.
Also, speaking at the function were Convener of the SNG, Pastor Tunde Bakare; foremost Nigerian constitutional lawyer and activist, Professor Itse Sagay; daughter of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mrs. Tokunbo Awolowo, spokesperson of the SNG, Comrade Yinka Odumakin; President of the Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin and Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Barrister Ubani.
While making his submission, Tunde Bakare described President Goodluck Jonathan transformation agenda as a deceitful distraction, pointing out that, if a successful anti-graft war is to be waged, there should be no sacred cows.
Sagay said Nigeria is “in a situation where we have to find a policeman to police the police. Corruption is destroying the country’s chance of development. Is there any hope for the future?,” he asked rhetorically. Adding that “something must be done before it is too late.”
Mrs. Tokunbo Awolowo said the Nigeria currently experienced is a complete difference from the Nigeria led by the circle of her late father, Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
As a solution to the myriad of problems facing the country, Osundare advised citizens “to mobilise and embark on massive action to probe why few people are tirelessly rich and many are poor”.
Pastor Tunde Bakare in his closing statement after painting the picture of Nigeria as a quagmire made by the ruling party, PDP, said the government of Goodluck Jonathan will be helped out the same way it was helped in.
“Civil Protests brought Jonathan in, civil protests will flush him out”, Pastor Bakare said as he concluded.”