Global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has dealt a massive blow to the “Anti-Corruption” crusade of the Muhammadu Buhari Administration. The group in its latest report released on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, ranked the country 148 out of 180 countries assessed in its 2017 report.
The report released through its Nigerian contact, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) says, “On the African continent, Nigeria ranks 32nd position in Africa out of 52 assessed countries in 2017. While Botswana leads the continent with the record of competent and largely corruption-free public administration, Nigeria hopelessly falls behind with 27 points. In West Africa, Nigeria is the second worst country out of 17 countries leaving only Guinea Bissau behind.
“This fresh setback in the fight against corruption confirms that grand-corruption, political corruption, nepotism, favouritism and bribery persist in Nigeria at all levels. It is CISLAC’s view that the negative perception is mainly a consequence of the inability to combat grand corruption and astronomical plundering of public coffers costing the Nigerian taxpayers around 25% of annual GDP. Since the current administration has come to power on the anti-corruption ticket, no significant politically exposed person has been duly sentenced on anti-corruption charges.”
The report which has been described as an “unfair” report by the Nigerian Presidency has re-echoed the thoughts of various individuals, the media, CSOs and other Nigerians that have expressed non-satisfaction with the famed anti-corruption war of the federal government as it has been selective and vindictive. It’s on record that no single prime suspect has been convicted of corruption under this administration.
It’s also true that the administration has provided a safe landing for wanted corrupt individuals the moment they defect to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). The cases of Musiliu Obanikoro and former Governor of Abia Orji Uzor Kalu, – who is now a self-appointed apostle for the second term campaign of President Buhari are clear examples.
The President in his selective fight against corruption recently reinstated the suspended executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf, who is currently under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). What more can we say when the Presidency has been fighting corruption within its ranks with deodorant while applying insecticides to outsiders.
The Presidency should take the message from Transparency International as a timely one which should help in repositioning its failed anti-corruption drive.