For the sake of transparency, accountability, and sustainable democracy: President Tinubu declare your assets now and make it public
African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) wishes to call on President Bola Tinubu to declare his assets in accordance with Paragraph 11 of Part I of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution and make it public as a way of committing to the genuine fresh beginning he promised Nigerians.
AFRICMIL believes that declaring his assets and making it public would place Mr Tinubu on a much higher moral pedestal than his predecessors who were not on record to have taken any significant action regarding this constitutional obligation.
Besides the moral capital that accompanies such a rare gesture, Mr. Tinubu would be seen to have reinforced belief in the “Renewed Hope” agenda on which his governance plan is anchored, and which was the mantra at every turn in his campaign trail.
The anti-corruption agenda of the Tinubu administration remains vague even though in his inaugural speech President Tinubu said his administration would “take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.”
AFRICMIL looks forward to a more detailed and unambiguous anti-corruption programme and is ready to work with the Tinubu administration to tame the vicious monster of corruption currently ravaging the country.
Before we get a full understanding of the new administration’s trajectory on fighting corruption, we would like to propose to President Tinubu that an important tool for enhancing transparency and accountability and reducing corruption is whistleblowing.
We are disappointed at the failure of the immediate past government to enact a whistleblowing and whistleblower protection law, even though it introduced the whistleblowing policy as one of its anti-corruption strategies in December 2016 and approved a draft whistleblower protection bill in December 2022.
To address this disabling lapse, we are using this opportunity to call on this administration to take steps to sign the whistleblowing and whistleblower protection bill into law without further delay. A whistleblowing law would boost the confidence of citizens to report fraud, block leakages and increase the revenue which the new administration badly needs to sustain effective governance at this time.
AFRICMIL also calls on former president, Muhammadu Buhari, to declare his assets and make it public as a token gesture of redemption for his severely diminished integrity.
This is not the first time AFRICMIL would be requesting elected officers to publicize their assets records as a mark of upholding transparency and accountability in governance through personal example.
In 2011, AFRICMIL dragged the Code of Conduct Bureau to court seeking an order compelling the CCB, within the ambit of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, to make available to the public the asset declaration form of President Goodluck Jonathan.
In 2017, AFRICMIL again sued the CCB for refusal to make available the asset details of principal officers of the National Assembly since 2011. Following the unfavorable judgment of Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati of the Federal High Court, AFRICMIL took the matter to the Appeal Court. The case has yet to be heard.
AFRICMIL will not relent in its advocacy for good governance through activities that are targeted at holding public officers accountable.
Chido Onumah, PhD