Mrs. Sarah Jubril, Nigeria’s first female presidential candidate, was Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Ethics and Values. In this interview, she blamed some of government functionaries and Jonathan’s appointees for the woes the immediate past administration suffered. She also frowns at the infighting and alleged impunity in the current administration and says that implementation of ethics and values in the polity is the surest way to rescue the country from the clutches of corruption.
Her assessment of President Buhari’s fight against corruption
It is a worthy fight, a good fight on behalf of all of us. However, it is a continuous fight because even the previous administration talked about zero tolerance for corruption, that was what late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was talking about. The fight this time is coined as fighting corruption for change.
The previous administration mentioned about fighting corruption by transformation agenda. The realisation of the result is the issue. It is not only the government that has been trying to fight corruption, there are other social institutions that have embarked on such initiatives.
There are people in the public and private sectors, and the international community who expect Nigeria to raise the standard of fighting corruption.
So, Nigeria as a leading country in Africa is expected not to relent in fighting corruption. But it should be a fight on PPP level. Public and private partnership, not only the government.
The government and stakeholders should partner with the private sector, the family and the institutions. They should also not sit back and leave the whole fight against corruption to the government because they are the people that pay taxes and make the population, they are the voters.
They were the people that gave votes to the people that contested and became political leaders. That is why I keep talking about the stakeholders as the first fighters against corruption.
This issue of corruption is a whole thing that starts from the oath taking of public officials, if you read the content of the oath of office and the oath of allegiance, which are supposed to be in line with the fulfilment of the implementation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
If I refer you to Section 2, subsection 15.5. It says that states shall abolish all forms of corruption and abuse of power. In subsection 23, it is talking about the national ethics.
The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, chapter 2:23 says, the national ethics shall be discipline, integrity of labour, social justice, religious tolerance, self-reliance and patriotism. Subsection 24 talks about the duties of citizens.
The fight against corruption started when the public officers took oath of office either as appointees or elected officials taking oath as senators or governors or president.
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