Saturday, October 08, 2005

NO NIGERIAN HAS IMMUNITY OVER CORRUPTION- OBASANJO


NO NIGERIAN HAS IMMUNITY OVER CORRUPTION- OBASANJO

President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that no Nigerian is immuned from investigation and sanction over corruption.

He gave assurance that he would not be blackmailed, distracted, compromised or discouraged in his battle to rid the country of corruption and other attendant vices.

President Obasanjo made the declaration in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a two-day national workshop on the Imperative of Good Governance and Transparency in a Democracy, holding at Yar’adua Conference Centre.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette at the ceremony, the President said in the spirit of transparency, his directive to the EFCC to investigate the allegations made against him by the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was not a joke, and that the directive to the EFCC was “only the beginning.”

He reiterated that the battle against corruption was not only irreversible but that it was non negotiable.

“In this battle, we need no weapons. It requires no violence or bloodshed. We need only our will, our hearts, our conviction and our commitment as a government and as a people to do the right thing at the right time at all time.”

“But our campaign against corruption will not yield the desired results without the active and collective participation of our civil and public servants,” he declared.

President Obasanjo said for the reform agenda to succeed, the cancer of corruption has to be dealt a decisive blow.

He added that to carry out a reform program without institutionalizing the regime of transparency, openness, probity, accountability and good management of resources, was like to putting money in a pocket that had a big hole at the bottom.

President Obasanjo commended the EFCC for its efforts in attempting to drive fraudsters from the shores of Nigeria, adding that for the first time in the history of this country, corrupt high ranking government officials were being exposed, investigated and charged to court.

President Obasanjo disclosed that “now is the time to harness the boundless energies of our people to oust the spiritual degeneration and monster of political rascality, social irresponsibility, moral decay and corruption.”

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