Jonathan faces criticism over corruption
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders has chided President Goodluck Jonathan over his unwillingness to tackle corruption in the country.
According to the group, corruption is the biggest problem the country is facing, besides the Boko Haram insurgency.
CACOL's Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, told SUNDAY PUNCH there was an urgent need to tackle the problem.
'It is a known fact that corruption is the greatest problem confronting our country Nigeria, thus if combated frontally, it would definitely put an end to many other challenges facing us as a people,' he said.
He also flayed the President's criticism of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari's, plan to ensure that individuals guilty of corrupt practices were jailed.
Adeniran stated, 'President Jonathan's criticism of General Muhammadu Buhari's plan to jail any citizen guilty of corruption charges is highly condemnable. As a matter of fact, it is another confirmation that Jonathan isn't keen on coming hard on corrupt individuals in the country.'
The activist further alleged that Jonathan's government did not see stealing of public funds as corruption.
'The case of the unremitted $20bn raised by the then Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, the case of $10bn expended by the current Petroleum Minister, Diezanu Alison-Madueke, on chartered jets, the Stella Oduah scandal, the Malabu oil scandal, and Yakubu Yusuf, who allegedly stole about N27bn of the pension money and got a court fine of N750, 000 for the offence. These and many others are cases that establish that this administration is corruption tolerant,' the CACOL boss said.
Similarly, a University of Ibadan teacher of the Department of Political Science, Dr. Idowu Johnson, stated that Jonathan's attitude to corrupt practices had been responsible for the country's clamour for a change in government.
'General Buhari's records in combating corruption during his regime gave him the chance to be accepted as an alternative to the current corrupt government. Even those who are Jonathan's followers know that his government is corrupt but they keep silent because they are benefiting from it. Put simply, Jonathan cannot fight corruption,' Johnson said.
However, another activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, told our correspondent that Jonathan's approach to the fight corruption was not out of place.
'I think we need to balance Jonathan with Buhari. Buhari is saying we must deal with corruption by throwing thieves into Kirikiri prisons while Jonathan is talking of preventing corruption and following due process in dealing with those who are corrupt.
'We must do both. We must fight the scourge of corruption but we must not use arbitrariness at the expense of institutions and due process. We have seen the evil of corruption in our country that we must be eager to stamp it out but we must avoid abuses of due process in the name of fighting corruption,' she said. Punch