Despite the different campaigns against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lamented that Nigerians still celebrate corrupt politicians.
He therefore emphasized the need to stop Nigerians from celebrating corrupt politicians, and urged anti-corruption agencies in the country to step up their engagement with the Nigerian public and find a way to ensure that those who still justify and celebrate corruption when it involves their kinsfolk stop from doing such.
He stated this on Tuesday during a meeting with a delegation of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) led by its Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay at the Presidential Villa, the outcome of which was made available to newsmen by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
He said, “How we communicate what is going on regarding corruption is important. There are still those who think a politician who steals, is some kind of Robin Hood, instead of being vilified. Some people believe that if ‘my kinsman’ steals it is ok.”
Osinbajo therefore stressed that it was important to completely delegitimise corruption through the way it is communicated to the public.
The Vice President while noting that it is important that corruption trials once commenced should be concluded promptly, appreciated efforts so far made by PACAC in the ongoing anti-corruption war in the country.
“I commend the excellent work you have done so far from the beginning,” he said, adding that the committee has done very well in removing scepticism as to whether an anti-corruption initiative can work well in the country.
Prof. Sagay in his comment at the meeting said PACAC has engaged with all anti-corruption agencies in the country, including the police and the judiciary.
“We are cooperating effectively well with them,” he said.
The vice President’s position is coming on the heels of the release of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who recently regained his freedom after serving time in a London prison after his conviction for corruptly enriching himself and draining his state’s resources.
He was celebrated by many people from his state, among them, a serving senator, Peter Nwaoboshi who was caught on camera praising the ex convict, and saying Ibori still influenced Nigeria’s politics even while in prison.
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