President of the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus has condemned the endemic corruption in Nigeria and the failure of the security agents to fight headlong, insisting that only a revolution in the fight against corruption would rid the country of the scourge.

In this interview with DAILY POST, he spoke on the fight against corruption by the current government, the call to remove immunity clause from the constitution, the war against banditry and kidnapping, and the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, among other nagging national issues.

Recently, about 50 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, condemned the Federal Government’s approach to the fight against corruption, saying the government was only paying lip-service to it; do you think the government is actually fighting corruption?

The president didn’t say he was coming to fight corruption; that is not his priority. All he said was that he was coming to continue in Buhari’s footsteps. I think so far, he is doing better than Buhari since he came. When a government comes in and knows what its priorities are and pursues those priorities legitimately and properly, I think we should wait and see. There is corruption out there but the issue is that we have institutions on ground to handle corruption, no matter the government in power.

We have adequate provisions in our laws to fight corruption, but unfortunately, the institutions are not working the way they are supposed to work. Our society has this inherent distortion such that if today somebody steals money and gives it to a monarch, he would be rewarded and even be crowned as a leader.

So, this inherent attitude in us makes it difficult for somebody to change everything overnight. We need a revolution in that regard and we must encourage the president to do whatever he can to transform the economy and the security situation into one where commerce, trade and businesses will thrive.

Gradually, if people are making it in business, they will not even be eyeing the government’s resources to steal. So, it is part of us but unfortunately it is something we have to change through the change of attitude and behaviour. The government alone cannot do it, and already as I said, we have institutions and laws that can handle the job. It is up to these institutions to do their job and to do it well. We equally have to strengthen them to do their jobs well

May 19, 2024

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