by Jonathan Nda-Isaiah (Leadership)
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the African Ant-Corruption Champion, has called for the establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Court to try offenders.
He urged African leaders to intensify the fight against corruption and create more disincentives for pilfering of public funds because corruption is evil.
In his recorded remark to celebrate the African Day of Anti-corruption, the president in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, praised African leaders for gains so far recorded, admonishing that efforts must be intensified to prosecute offenders and collect resources that had been stored in other countries.
He told the participants, including African leaders that corruption is evil and all efforts at tackling it are desirable, adding that “I have monitored the fight against corruption in Africa and I can see both successes and drawbacks. The battle must continue for the sake of the continent and its people no matter the difficulties.
“In Nigeria, the fight against corruption has been vigorous since 2015. A lot has been achieved in the areas of arrest, prosecution, conviction, asset recovery and anti-corruption laws.
“I must admit that the fight has not been a bed of roses. Truly, a lot of more work in many fronts is required. For example, civil and public servants must be ethical and professional at all times. The private sector must contribute in curbing corruption. The international community needs to close safe havens. The judiciary requires more impetus. Perhaps, an International Anti-corruption Criminal Court is needed,” he said.
President Buhari said family and religious values will have to be upgraded, and schools have a lot of work to do for a better society.
“I am extremely delighted to address the participants as we celebrate the Africa Day of Anti-Corruption. Distinguished participants, we have come a long way in the fight against corruption in Nigeria and Africa in general.
“May I use this opportunity to appreciate fellow African leaders for their individual and collective efforts in fighting corruption on our continent. I appreciate all of you for the confidence reposed in me being the Africa Champion on Anti-Corruption.
“I understand that the theme for 2022 is ‘Strategy and Mechanisms for the Transparent Management of Covid-19 Funds, Lessons from the Pandemic.’ In Nigeria, we responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic swiftly and having tamed it, we have realized the need for more awareness campaigns on health issues and more investment in the health sector. Again, service delivery requires checkmating corruption,” he added.
The president told African leaders that the continent must get rid of corruption if it is to realize its full potentials.