CORRUPTION: SULTAN CANVASSES CONFISCATION OF ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar 111, has declared that the only way to confront the monster, corruption headlong in Nigeria was to apply the recommendations of late Jihadist, Abdullahi Bn Fodio. The late Islamist scholar had recommended confiscation of the ill-gotten wealth of public officials suspected to be living above their means.
He made the declaration yesterday at the 10-year anniversary, to commemorate the founding of the foremost northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF. The Lead Speaker, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, also said that from 1970 till date, about $480 billion have been siphoned out of the country, with President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's tenure from 2007 to 2008, recording the highest amount of about $85billion.
The Sultan who said for the country to fight corruption effectively, Nigerians must return to their religious and cultural values, further said: 'my advice is a simple one, for us to fight corruption effectively; we must go back to our religious and cultural values, and use them as the bulwark against this menace.
'We must make use of the words of Sheikh Abdullahi Ibn Fodio who over 200 years ago, urged the ruler to 'rebuke anyone who failed in his duties. Whoever is found to possers wealth over and above what he earns from his work, the ruler should confiscate and return the wealth to the treasury. If there is doubt over the origin of the wealth, we shall confiscate half of it from the employees.'
The scholar further suggested: 'On the collection of bribes and gifts, Sheikh Abdullahi Bn Fodio was equally emphatic: 'another thing agreed upon as illegal is the collection of bribe on behalf of the ruler, or other officials like the judges and public employees.
Also, the art of collecting something from one of the disputants or from all of them before passing judgment or thereafter. It is also illegal to accept gifts from the common people for such action is the door leading to all types of calamities. When a gift finds its way to a man in authority justice and good will find its way out of him. And what he purchases with that money is nothing more than a place for himself in hell fire,' he said.
The Sultan who congratulated the ACF for attaining 10-years however said that the forum should use the occasion to re-examine its mission statement, especially considering the fact that in spite of all the seminars and workshops that have been held in the region, the region still remains backward in virtually everything. He urged the organisation to look inward with a view to confronting the challenges, especially the one that has to do with ethno-religious crisis in the region.