By Wale OdunsiPresident Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday had disclosed to a section of Nigerians that he personally knows some persons involved in corruption, but would not reveal their identity and would prefer to remain silent over it.
“When you talk about corruption, the private sector is involved; the public sector is involved; even the individuals including other societies, and I wouldn’t want to mention names so that I will not be attacked,” he said.
The statement has however drew criticism from different individuals at the gathering.
A member of the audience, when asked to respond to the comment, told DailyPost that, “This is what we are saying. Why can’t Mr. President indict the people. What or who is he scared of,” the financial expert asked rhetorically.
Mr. Jonathan had at the gathering lamented that in spite of the institutional reforms aimed at fighting corrupt practices, Nigerians, through their actions, still reward corruption.
He spoke on Tuesday in Abuja while declaring open the 54th annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) with the theme, “Institutions, Institutional Reforms and Economic Development”.
The President stated that, if Nigerians do not reward corrupt practices, those who enriched themselves through dubious means would not be celebrated today, adding that the fight against corruption is not what the government alone can handle.
He accused both public and private institutions of being involved in sharp practices.
“We believe that we should not create an environment where people would be tempted to take what belongs to the public because that is why even in the fertiliser business, we talk about electronic wallet so that funds are not exposed to corrupt people,” he said.
Jonathan pledged that his administration would continue to focus on how to strengthen all anti-corruption agencies to step up the fight against corruption.
“In this regard, the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences have been repositioned to ensure more effective, efficient and transparent way of managing corruption and corrupt practices”
“I want a society where all of us will frown upon people who come up with what they are not supposed to have.
Giving an instance, the President said “If a young man who just started a job and within six months or a year comes up with a car of N7m to N15m and you clap for him, then you are rewarding corruption.
“So for us as a nation to bring corruption down in Nigeria, it is not just blaming government or blaming police, but all individuals must frown upon people who have what they are not supposed to have; who live in houses they are not supposed to live in; who drive cars they are not supposed to drive and who wear the most expensive suits.”