•Continued from yesterday
The current obsolete, archaic and sluggish system of dispensation of justice obviously encourages unbridled corruption at all levels of governance in the country. How could one explain a situation whereby high profile corruption charges preferred against highly placed public office holders including former State governors are still awaiting trial in various courts in the land and some of them had lasted for more than seven years and yet “the accused persons” are today moving freely in the country and even jostling for key positions in government.
This ugly situation is simply the height of absurdity and a monumental disaster for a country that prides herself as “the giant of Africa.”
In many advanced countries of the world including China which is an emerging super power in Asia, public office holders accused of corruption are expeditiously put on trial and if found guilty are promptly executed or sentenced to a minimum of life imprisonment with hard labour to serve as deterrent to others.
The Nigerian government should therefore borrow a leaf from the advanced countries and adopt effective legal mechanism to check the endemic corruption in our society.
In conclusion, the current multifarious challenges confronting the nation including the rampaging Boko Haram insurgency calls for sober reflection particularly on the part of our leaders hence all hands must be on deck to salvage the nation which presently is sitting precariously on a keg of gun powder.
This is certainly not the time for blame game or apportioning blames on perceived political enemies or state institutions nor the time for destructive or divisive politicking as posterity will definitely judge our actions or inactions in the affairs of the nation.
Finally, this writer considers it pertinent and timely to draw the attention of our leaders both serving and retired to the effect that we should take a cue from other civilized nations in the world such as the U.S. whereby former Presidents soon after leaving office usually retire quietly to private life and never engaged themselves in making adverse or destructive comments nor passing judgments on the administration of their successors in office but rather they always maintained dignified silence on the affairs of state as protocol demanded of them.
Some of the former American Presidents such as Jimmy Carter after leaving the White House engaged himself in purely humanitarian activities by using his personal resources to fight the guinea worm scourge that was then ravaging Africa and other developing nations of the world. Similarly, former President Bill Clinton was equally involved in certain humanitarian ventures in Africa and elsewhere. The immediate past U.S. President George W. Bush retired to his library in Texas where he is currently writing his memoirs while in office.
The last but certainly not the least was one of the greatest American presidents in recent history, the late Ronald Reagan who after leaving office quietly retired to his private ranch in his home state and had remained there until his demise few years ago.
Back home in Nigeria however, our own General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) appears to have set a pace for other leaders when soon after his retirement engaged himself in purely spiritual activities through his pet project christened “Nigeria Prays” and he seldom attends official state functions during which he rarely makes official comments on contemporary national issues except in his usual characteristic manner of constantly preaching for peaceful co-existence and harmony among Nigerians.
Indeed, Gen. Gowon (rtd) is a most distinguished elder statesman par excellence whose uncommon spirit of undiluted patriotism, wisdom, candour and exemplary personal disposition remains the bedrock of his long and meritorious service to his fatherland and is worthy of emulation.
Our present and future leaders should therefore follow in the footsteps of this great patriot in the overall interest of the nation as an emerging political and economic power not only within the African continent but also in the arena of global politics and diplomacy.
•Nze Akabogu (JP) writes from Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State.