From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that the fight against corruption could only be effective when national institutions were strengthened to act independently.
The governor has also accepted the invitation of Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs of United Kingdom to deliver a keynote address on development issues in the country.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by officials of Chatham House at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, Governor Wike noted that political influence from high quarters has made the fight against corruption ineffective.
Said he, “It is difficult to fight corruption when the institutions are weak. It may just be a political tool to attract sympathy from western countries.
“In Nigeria, the institutions are subservient to the President. Here, police is central, but the institution is now being used for illegal acts. That is corruption. “
The governor also said fighting corruption on the pages of newspapers amounted to playing to the gallery without achieving the desired results.
He continued: “The fight against corruption must be holistic. It should not be a political weapon against opponents of the government.
“We have instances of mass corruption in the state; but Federal agencies frustrate all attempts at prosecution. This is because the affected persons are influential members of the ruling party “.
Governor Wike said that the State Government was fighting corruption and everybody should join hands to fight the menace in a transparent manner.
On the invitation to Chatham House, the governor said it was a good opportunity to share experiences with the international community on development in the country.
Earlier, the Manager of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, Tighisti Amare, had invited Governor Wike to the Institute to deliver a keynote address on international and national developmental issues.
Also speaking, one of the authors of the “New Chatham House Report: Radical Rethink Needed to tackle corruption in Nigeria”, Dr Leena Hoffmann, said there was a need to fight corruption because it is vital for the development of the nation.
She presented New Chatham House Report: Radical Rethink Needed to tackle corruption in Nigeria ” to Governor Wike. The governor promised to study the report.