21st January, 2015
At the flag-off of his campaign for re-election as President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, shocked the world when he told the crowd how he was fighting corruption. Jonathan, who was weeks ago, unanimously endorsed by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said he was not interested in clamping people into detention over corruption. Instead, the President said he was plotting to build institutions in the fight against corruption.
He told the crowd that he was not ready to send anyone to jail because he has no enemies to fight. He also stated during another campaign that he was going to fight corruption using technology while allegedly criticising his opponent and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, of sending Jim Nwobodo to jail for stealing money which cannot buy a Peugeot car.
Just as we kick against corruption, we also kick against the President’s refusal to fight corrupt people in the country. Nigeria belongs to us all and not the President alone. Thus, his statement that he does not have enemies to fight in relation to fighting corruption does not count. If anything, this statement has diminished him and portrayed him as leader who lacks the will to fight corruption, the greatest bane of this nation.
Everywhere in the world, criminals and corrupt individuals are sent to jail after being found guilty by law courts. In some countries such as China and Japan, people found guilty of corruption are either jailed or sentenced to death depending on the gravity of their offences. Why should Nigeria be different?
The long list of supposedly corrupt Nigerians who have either been let off the hook or who are receiving pats in the back and being pampered by Jonathan’s government has allowed corruption to fester in our country.
We believe that as President, every corrupt person should be considered as an enemy of the country if Nigeria must truly attain its pride of place in the comity of nations. Even if the President must see corrupt elements as friends, Nigerians should see them otherwise.