Home Opinion Hon Dr Edwin Okon On Fighting Corruption

Hon Dr Edwin Okon On Fighting Corruption


1.It is worrisome that ‘fighting corruption’ is a misnomer in Nigeria context.Fighting corruption Is not by words of mouth but rather through well articulated conscious efforts with formal well defined templates as obtainable in countries like Morocco, Pakistan, Vietnam, Iran, North Korea or even China where Nigeria has gone a-borrowing. Corruption itself is a symptom of misplaced priorities in governance and which signals that some things somewhere are going in the wrong direction!

  1. That in essence means some thing somewhere triggers off corruption and that some  thing is where the searchlight should be beamed and addressed. What is going on now is like fighting the symptoms of malaria with administration of malarial drugs without giving cognizance to or tackling the eradication of mosquitoes which is the prime cause of transferring malarial parasites to people.
  2. Economic growth policies that will highlight the rules and regulations of growing a vibrant economy to stem the tide of adverse economic indicators such as excessive poverty, growing insecurity, mass unemployment and under- employment, galloping double digit inflation, devaluation of Naira, excessive borrowing, wasteful spending, smuggling, counterfeiting, plunder, dwindling fortunes of the real sector,etc, when they are put in place with appropriate sanctions against those who would not comply to those rules, become a sine qua non to dealing with the main problem rather than with the symptoms.
  3. Wouldn’t we ask questions about how those countries we are taking loans from are growing their economies such that one hardly finds their indigenes scampering outside their fatherland, crossing oceans and deserts at their own peril just in search of what to keep their bodies and souls together unlike what obtains here?

Wouldn’t we ask questions to know how security of lives and property are maintained in places like Cuba, Saudi  Arabia,etc,where people would hardly take what do not belong to them even when by commission or omission one forgets his belongings somewhere?

Wouldn’t we ask how some countries are enjoying prevalent peace in their domains?

Are we not so blessed in Nigeria with enormous resources that if properly harnessed could transform our country and usher us into the realm of the super powers- I mean thought- provoking questions that would spur us into positive actions!

  1. That is why I think we should stop talking about fighting corruption but rather emphasize that ‘witch-hunting’,which is exactly what is going on at the moment,has been adopted,entrenched and executed as a governance tool in Nigeria. For the avoidance of doubt, witch – hunting means searching out and deliberate harassment of those ( political opponents) with ‘unpopular’ views. An attempt to find and punish a particular person or group of persons who is/are being   blamed for something.Little wonder why there are a thousand and one persons who at one point or another were indicted for fraud or misappropriation of funds still walking the streets without any harassment because they are being ‘favoured’.

That portrays the insincerity to grow our economy whereas in other climes there is a systematic application of sanctions without discrimination against those ( whoever they are regardless of rank, grade, social or political status) who depart from laid down rules or go against formulated policies which may pose danger to the country’s corporate and economic existence.No sacred cow! There should be a paradigm shift!


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