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Hardship caused by official corruption, institutional failure — HURIWA

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has carpeted the chairman of the independent corrupt practices and other offences commission (ICPC) Adamu Aliyu for saying that Nigerians are suffering due to corruption.

The Rights group said it is wrong to justify the economic hardship based on this puerile perspective when it is unambiguously factual that the institutional compromises of the anti-graft agencies, created opportunities for grandscale corruption by successive government officials.

“Reading the bland and very tepid submission of the head of ICPC on the cause of the massive economic crisis confronting Nigerians most of whom are starving to near-death, that says that Nigerians are suffering because of corruption, that statement is diversionary and incomplete. That statement did not apportioned the blame appropriately to the Government officials including the successive presidents and the current holder of office of president, but tries to blame Nigerians for these government imposed economic difficulties.

“The truth is that, the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission were established many years ago by then president Olusegun Obasanjo, but due to compromises and leadership failures within these two anti-corruption bodies, successive government officials have continued to swim in massive and unmitigated corruption with little or nothing being done to ensure that corrupt government officials are sent swiftly to prisons for their crimes against humanity. The troubled implementation of fuel subsidy which was overwhelmed by corruption was made a reason for the current hike in fuel price, but the truth is that both the EFCC and ICPC were in communion with the government officials that siphoned money meant for the subsidy.”

The group recalled that Mr. Adamu Aliyu, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had at the weekend said the current economic challenges faced by the nation is caused by corruption.

Aliyu spoke through the Secretary to the Commission, Clifford Okwudiri Oparaodu, when members of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) visited him.

The anti-graft agency boss said it was important for Nigerians to adhere to policies to curb the challenges being faced in the execution of constituency and executive projects.

According to him, it is important to place significance on enlightening the public against corruption by the institutions, saying the agency would not relent in enlightening the public which is one of the core mandates of the Commission

He advised the CJID to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to get information from government agencies, and that when agencies refuse to disclose the information they requested, the agencies should be sued.

HURIWA through its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, however thinks that the ICPC chairman left many things to the imagination because he deliberately failed to call a spade by its name by not mentioning that successive governments since 1999 but more particularly the immediate past government of Muhammadu Buhari and the current administration brought about the economic problems through a cocktail of corrupt enrichment with public funds and poor economic policies.

The Rights group said failures of ICPC and EFCC to tackle corruption due to political interference and lack of independence of the anti-graft system, compounded the economic adversities and so the ICPC chairman should be sincere with his assessment on the ongoing hardships.

 

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