.As Transparency International ranks Nigeria 4th most corrupt nation in W’Africa
OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had said the damning 2019 corruption index report on Nigeria by Transparency International (TI) has further validates its position that corruption has worsened under President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party describes as a national embarrassment that under an administration by the same leader who wears the medal as “African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Champion”, and whose government boasts of zero-tolerance for corruption, Nigeria now ranks as fourth most corrupt country in West African and one of the leading most corrupt countries of the world.
PDP’s National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement on Thursday said, “the TI report, which shows our country dropping to a malodorous 26, from the already disapproving 27 points it maintained since 2017, had further exposed the Buhari administration and the APC as merely posturing as saints and hounding innocent Nigerians with fake anti corruption war, while engaged in unprecedented looting of our national resources.
“It indeed speaks volume that the Buhari administration and the APC that came into power in 2015 on an anti-corruption mantra, has ended up becoming the most corrupt in the history of our dear nation.
“Moreover, the fact that the APC and its government, with their numerous megaphones, have remained silent over the report is also very revealing.
“By this TI report, Nigerians are no longer in doubt as to why our nation has been plagued with worsening economic hardship, poverty and hunger, dilapidated infrastructure and devastating retrogression in critical sectors such as health, power, education, transport, agriculture among others in the last four years while APC leaders, their families and cronies, gloat in affluence to the chagrin of Nigerians
“Nigerians can recall that our party has since been challenging Buhari Presidency and the APC to come clean, account for the over N14 trillion allegedly stolen by APC leaders from government coffers in the last four years.
“This includes the stolen N9 trillion detailed in the NNPC leaked memo; the N1.1 trillion worth of crude allegedly stolen by certain APC leaders using 18 unregistered vessels; the over N1.4 trillion stolen from shady oil subsidy deals as well as monies stolen from sensitive government agencies including the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) among others.
“It is now clear that the Buhari administration and the APC have not only failed in their boasts to tackle corruption and insecurity but have ended up economically despoiling our nation and worsening our security challenges.
“The fact remains that the Buhari Presidency and the APC cannot controvert these damning facts. The only thing left for them is to apologize to Nigerians and get ready for their place in the dustbin of history as the worst government and political party ever in the history of our nation.”
Meanwhile, the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released globally by Transparency International TI on Thursday, has placed Nigeria as the 146th most corrupt nation in the world.
The newly released index published in Nigeria, exclusively by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transparency International Chapter in Nigeria, revealed that Nigeria scored 26 out of 100 points in the 2019 CPI, falling back by one point when compared to the year 2018.
In the current country comparison index, Nigeria ranks 146 out of 180 countries sliding down two points when compared to 2018 polls.
The CPI aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions by business community and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector.
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, who released the latest statistics, in Abuja, blamed the Federal Government for what he termed poor approach to fighting corruption.
He said beyond Nigeria, countries like the United States, Britain, France were also posting poor results, indicating that corruption was growing at an alarming rate, globally.
According to Rafsanjani, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was feigning ignorance to over bloated security votes enjoyed by public officers both at the federal, state and local government levels.
He equally noted that the recent drama which played out at the law court in Abuja, where alleged proponent of the #RevolutionNow# Omoyele Sowore was dragged out and re-arrested portrayed the country in bad light within the global scene.
While adducing reasons for this trend, TI said, “Nigeria’s rule of law is selective – the rich and powerful do not play by the rules
“All useful reforms in Nigeria are limited to those who cannot afford to ignore them. The pre-election period witnessed mind-blowing scandals, which stayed without consequences. Politicians stashing millions of dollars in kickbacks or having corruption charges upon them just need to switch political parties or stay loyal and charges are dropped against them.
“Despite evidences brought by brave media and civil society, prominent personalities in politics and business are untouchable by the Nigerian law enforcement and the executive, while backlash against media and civil society damages Nigeria’s anti-corruption effort”.
TI also alleged that recruitment processes in Nigeria are still laced with bribery and favoritism, while some public health institutions which can’t boast of standard medical facilities still insist on cutting corners to deliver services.
In the security sector, TI alleged that infighting between the police and army leaves much to be desired, especially when those at the top echelon of the agencies, including governors spend security votes at will without any accountability structure.
“In another prominent example, Omoyele Sowore was dragged out of the court room while the judges were literally held at gunpoint by DSS. The whole world watched in shock as state apparatus became a major threat to public safety and justice in Nigeria.
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