The convener of Save Nigeria Group and Presiding Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, at the weekend, said not only government officials were corrupt, but emphasised that “corruption is official in Nigeria.”
Bakare made this declaration during the birthday celebration of human rights activist, Monday Ubani and the launch of Onyekachi Ubani Foundation at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, while delivering the keynote address titled “the system that allows massive corruption in Nigeria must be bad”.
He noted that, “at the twilight of the military era in Nigeria’s political trajectory, the name “Nigeria” became synonymous with a certain word, a word that elicits the image of a cesspool running over corruption.
“At that time, precisely, bin 1999, Transparency International rated Nigeria the second most corrupt countryman the world in terms of perception, second only to her eastern neighbour, Cameroon.
“For instance, given the unbridled looting the treasury at that time, reportedly to the tune of over one billion dollars as was subsequently uncovered following the exit of the military, it was obvious that the abnormal had become the norm, the illegal had become legal, the outrageous had become banal and aberrant had become the gold standard.
Bare who was represented Ayers the event by the managing director of Wema Bank pointed out that “through 17 years of civil governance, the stench of corruption has continued to pollute the national atmosphere and to attract the derision of the international community.
Moreover, he said that “despite the emergence of a new government on the heels of a strong anti-corruption campaign, despite the credence lent to this anti-corruption promise by the antecedents of President Muhammad Buhari, and despite global acknowledgement that Nigeria has taken shovel loads off the peak of this mountain of filth, the stench of corruption remains “fantastically” horrible with the rest of the world turning their noses away in disgust.
Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, who represented President Buhari at the event, assured Nigerians that the president would deliver on his promises. He said Nigerians have not entered One chance bus, because the president would surely do all that he promised Nigerians.
President Buhari in his congratulatory message said: “It is significant that the foundation is dedicated to helping the poor and needy in the society, and is out to celebrate those who have made our country proud with virtuous acts. This, I heartily commend and recommend to other well of Nigerians.”
The president added that Ubani’s decision to improve other peoples’ lives was very inspiring and prayed that it should be the heartbeat of more privileged Nigerians. That way, he said, the burdens of government would be a lot lightened.