Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Chief Executive Officer of Forensic Insight International Limited, London, Tunji Aworinde, has said corrupt practices would continue because of the pressures and expectations mounted on political office holders by families and community leaders, to assist them financially.
Aworinde, who spoke at the 5th annual conference on financial crimes, cross-border crime, and illicit substance abuse, yesterday in Abuja, added that instead of community leaders to expose their kinsmen wanted for shady deals, they shield them from being arrested because of what they are getting.
“I will be the last person to say that we can eradicate corruption. It is not possible. Corruption is everywhere. But the message here is curbing corruption in our land especially in the public sector that had brought us the title of capital poverty of the world.
“It is not an enviable title; it is a title we need to repudiate. And to do that, we need to come together as a people to realize that this menace which is called cancer is destroying our nation and bringing us unto our kneels.
“Our cultures, attitudes, our systems contribute to corruption. The controls are not effective enough to prevent individuals looting the treasury.
“Our budgetary system, our financial control and management system are just so relax that makes it easier for individuals to steal. In effect, we need to look at our culture and our history. We have had a situation were a governor was convicted in the UK and served a prison sentence.
“He arrived back in Nigeria and was given a heroic welcome. In the village, there were church programmes cultural dancing to welcome him.
“That aspect is what is called the son-of-the-soil mentality. Since he is our son he can do no wrong. People cannot just connect the fact that the deprivation, poverty, lack of infrastructure, the epileptic power supply are attributed to corruption,” he said.