Show More Anger Against Corruption – Lai Mohammed Charges Nigerians
SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday charged Nigerians to show more anger against corruption, lamenting that they have not voiced enough concern whenever instances of looted funds are made public.
The Minister, who visited Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State at the State House, Ikeja, in Lagos, disclosed that the Federal Government was more than ever determined to kill corruption, but bemoaned Nigerians' nonchalant attitude toward showing enough anger against corruption.
At the end of the visit, he told newsmen that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was not witch-hunting anybody in the fight against corruption, neither is it out to vilify anybody.
According to him, “What bothers us is that Nigerians are not angry enough. Last Sunday, it was reported that N381 million was recovered from the account of the wife of a former service chief.
“It is surprising that Nigerians have shown no anger about it. In other climes, you will see people talking about it or doing something about it. We must understand that until we kill corruption, we are not going to make any edgeway. The budget was distorted. We, as the Federal Executive Council, did not pad any budget.”
Mohammed explained that the emphasis of the present government was not just to talk about figure of how much had been embezzled as the figures were dizzying enough, saying that only two days ago, the Aide De Camp, ADC, to former President Goodluck Jonathan said they brought N10 billion for the PDP's campaign, but “he did not open it. He said he only gave it to the Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs. This is quite troubling.”
His words, “But more importantly, our government wants Nigerians to know the cost of corruption. The government wants Nigerians to know what we are suffering. When we had a news conference in January and disclosed that 55 people stole N1.343 trillion between 2006 and 2013, what we wanted to emphasise was what one-third of the money would have done to Nigeria.”
The Minister explained that using the World Bank rate, “we said the money would be able to redevelop Lagos-Ibadan expressway. It will be able to give us one ultra-modern hospital in each state of the federation. In addition, that money would have given 20,000 units of two-bedroom flat. The remaining will still sponsor 3,954 students from primary schools to tertiary level. In addition, it will build 183 state-of-the-art schools.”
“So, what we are trying to make Nigerians understand is that corruption is eating deep, not just into the fabrics of our morals, but it is preventing development. It is the reason 40% of our children will not live up to five years. We lose 40% of our infants before they are five years old. It is because of corruption. It is because of corruption we are in darkness all the time. It is because of corruption we needlessly lose lives to road accidents today,” he added.