A Press Release by Concerned Professionals
11 April 2005
PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJOíS
ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADE IS COMMENDABLE
Concerned Professionals (CP) is most delighted at the current demonstrable renewal of the present administrationís anti-corruption crusade and hopes that the momentum is sustained, in the interest of good governance, national integrity, ethical rebirth and sanity in the system. We also acknowledge widespread cynicism regarding the Presidentís motives and style. Still we think the actions are worth commending even as we warn that if it turns out to be a hot news gimmick without the requisite prosecution, it will only intensify the crises of legitimacy, which currently cripples governance in Nigeria.
Granted that President Olusegun Obasanjo had, at the beginning of his presidency undertaken the Herculean task of fighting corruption in all its facets, the nation and indeed the international community had, at some point, thought that it was a political joke till Tuesday 22nd of March when the bribe-for budget scandal was exposed. Mr. Presidentís unveiling of the bribe-for-budget deal of other wise respected public officials was a shock to all but quite heart warming in that it clearly was a testimony of the sad state of affairs in Nigeria. To truly shame his critics on this subject he must now open up all the reports of Commissions of Inquiry on his shelves and seek investigation of all public officers using their asset declaration documents as control.
And while we are still in the euphoria of bribe ñfor- budget scandal the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has started taking steps with a view to ensuring the prosecution of the former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Tafa Balogun who resigned following strong allegations of corruptly enriching himself to the tune of billions of Naira.
It is noteworthy that President Obasanjo recently cancelled the sale of Federal Government landed properties in Lagos that took place without regard to due process and, in a manner viewed to be corrupt and skewed for the benefit of persons in government, their friends and relations.
CP believes that if the President finds the political will to sustain his present drive then the hope of Nigerians for a better nation would be realisable in our lifetime. We cannot be taken seriously when we talk of foreign debt cancellation/forgiveness, foreign direct investment, permanent seat at the United Nationís Security Council and those other matters that are dear and germane to our development, if we do not deal with corruption and its the negative influences in our national life.
It is CPís firm hope that the President would not allow rent seekers and beneficiaries of the current order to draw him back from his commendable efforts at confronting corruption head-on. History would indeed have some pleasant words for the President if he sees this war through.
CP hereby restates its commitment to the anti-corruption crusade and calls on all good Nigerianís to join in killing corruption before corruption kills the nation.
Concerned Professionals (Ltd/Gte)
36A, Ikorodu Crescent, Dolphin Estate
Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
Tel: 234-(0)1-4614085, 472 9513
Mobile: 234-0803 303 8002
CP ...'rebuilding a leadership of competence and integrity'