An ex Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Patrice Lumumba said Africa has remained poverty stricken because its largest country, Nigeria has failed to develop due to fraudulent activities in public service.
Mr. Lumumba who is a leading anti-corruption campaigner said this at the 2-day anti-corruption summit which began this Tuesday, October 18, at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre in Abuja. According to him, Nigerian leaders must do everything within their capacity to address endemic graft, so that Africa can refocus on the path towards prosperity.
“Africa is behind because Nigeria has not realized her potential. It’s time the leaders rise up because one in every five Africans is a Nigerian.”
In his speech during the programme organised by the National Assembly under leadership of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the law professor pointed that Nigeria is a microcosm of Africa therefore cannot afford to keep getting it wrong. Mr. Lumumba said.
“It is time for Nigeria, and all of Africa, to abandon the culture of punishing small thieves and electing big ones.
“Behavioural change culture must be instilled in Nigeria. Nigeria must put in place stringent mechanism that would effectively caution against corruption.”
He insisted that the three arms of government must strengthen and not undermine the institutions that are meant to fight corruption so that Nigeria can realise its potentials.
“People must be made to know that if you reap where you have not sown there are consequences. Men only change their behaviours when there is a threat pain.”
The Professor called for a wholesome support for President Muhammadu Buhari in his war against corruption, especially on the need to build lasting institutions, which is the heart of the fight against corruption.
“The Institutions will not succeed if the legislature is not behind him and the institutions are not strengthened, because only institutions defy time and outlive those that live on graft.”
Mr. Saraki also made an opening remark and he said Nigeria had failed to seriously fight against corruption for more than 40 years. He assured the National Assembly will support Buhari’s administration for lasting solutions to the menace.