Scholars and legal experts have blamed the high level of corruption, money laundering, fraud and other crime in the country on the Federal Government as well as some foreign collaborators.
Legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, said that the Federal Government was responsible for the endemic corruption in Nigeria and should take the blame for the negative trends which has hindered national development for years.
Falana said the looters seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses who keep applauding looters and remain docile against corrupt leaders.
He maintained that the international community too selfishly allow local rulers to steal and stash the looted funds in foreign bank accounts thereby bringing massive poverty into our land.
Falana said this during the media campaign launch of anti-corruption project Strengthening Citizen’s Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) and logo “UpRight for Nigeria” initiated by Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD).
In the words of Falana, “Nigerians need to have a good sense of humour in whatever they are doing in life. Working for the interest of the country and not selfish interest. Moral attitude and a sense of national value towards building national value and integrity.”
He said the level of national decadence of our national value has resulted to youthful menace of crime.
“They employ the service of youths to carry out dubious act. Our schools have become a battleground where thugs and armed robbers are trained. Cultism, killings and raping of innocent citizens is not new, they are corrupt act inimical to the interest of the society.
“A society cannot be sane when its promising youths engaged in cyber crime and other forms of illegality due to the harsh economy.
“Our system does not condemn the act of corruption by corrupt individuals. Rather, Nigerians celebrate the endemic corruption of our leaders. Government is responsible for what the society turns out to be. Most of the people in government today benefitted from the free education system the government of our heroes provided for them.
“There were certain benefits attributed to student, the government was actually providing all the need of the student.
“Today, that system has collapsed. What is in operation is poverty, lack, no employment or basic necessity for the common youths. Rather, what they experience is hardship. Our political class has ignored the responsibility of being accountable to the masses. They have no voice of their own.”
However, he said the public have a right to know what actions those they have entrusted have taken. He said that no government had been able to fight corruption the way the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has, in terms of looted funds recovery, but faulted the process which, he said, frustrates the use of justice in the fight against corruption.
Public Affair Director of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Dolapo Adeniran, in her contribution, said criminal tendencies would jeopardise the future of Nigerian youths. She opined that the internet fraud and other crimes have taken the space of our youth innovative talent.
Adeniran said corruption in Nigeria is an epidemic that has eaten and rob deeply into the nation’s polity, policies reforms that would change the mindset of the youths as they believe the only means to make money and ride exotic cars was to engage in cybercrimes, internet fraud and other crimes.
She appealed to the society to join in the campaign to restore moral values, decorum that has vanished from our society.
Executive Director of the project, Babafunke Fagbemi, said the campaign was unique as it compliments ongoing efforts to fight corruption by examining the demand being society and social norms.
According to her, “Corruption is demonstrated at various levels of government and all works of life. Nigerians are in their own level of corruption. You don’t need to take bribe to discharge your duty.
“When we talk about the need to wage war on corruption, many people are disconnected completely from what we are talking about”.
“You need to be driven by the evidence of the damage and the destruction that corruption is doing to you at the unit level. If you think you are doing well now, you will do exceedingly better if corruption is effectively tackled in this society,” she said.
Mrs. Fagbemi explained that the sanctions and system used in fighting corruption is indeed a battle against the deep seated culture of corruption.
She stated that the campaign seek to maintain public support by promoting a corruption averse mentality” said.
Also, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku who was represented by Chidima IIechukwu presented a paper on standing upright against corruption said it the responsibility of every Nigerian to fight corruption.
Ibekaku added that government should go a step further in ensuring that the framework necessary for its citizens towards fighting corruption is readily available.