by Hauwa Gambo
“I worked in Nigeria Police Force for 27 years and I can swear that I have never taken a bribe, wallahi-talahi”
Former Action Congress of Nigeria presidential candidate, who faced criticism when he returned to Nigeria to chair the Petroleum Task Force, has taken a swipe at his bosses, accusing the federal government of complacency in dealing with the Boko Haram sect.
According to him, the security forces are not doing a lot to combat the domestic terrorism, calling it “a very sad thing.” He spoke at the 2012 Management Day Lecture of the NIgerian Institute of Management – he spoke on the topic National Development and Mismanagement: Forces at Opposite Roles. ““If I were Boko Haram, I would be very happy with the complacency,” he said, during a question and answer session. “Nobody is doing anything.”
Speaking on other issues the former boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also pointed to mismanagement at several levels of public administration for the collapse of institutions and symbols such as the defunct national carrier Nigerian Airways, National Shipping Lines, Steel Rolling Mills and the Nigerian Telecommunication Services (NITEL).
To solve the problem, he says, we need a new cadre of leadership. “Poor managers that we are, we have mismanaged our natural resources, particularly the oil that is the cash cow of the national economy today, to the extent that most observers and commentators of the industry now believe oil is a curse on Nigeria,” he said. “Development will continue to elude us if we cannot deploy a new generation of managers that will interpret the challenge of our failure as the failure of current management practices.”
He also shared his thoughts on the path EFCC has taken. According to him, EFCC suffered “from those who thought they were God” and powerful Nigerians went after it “with a vengeance. One by one, where are they today? They are nowhere. If you like, I can name names.”
Corruption therefore, he said, has to be fought from the highest levels of government. “It has to start at the highest level. To fight corruption, we need a leader who is not corrupt, who does not allow people around him to be corrupt, and where a Local Government chairman will not be allowed to be corrupt,” he said.
And how can Nigerians be will not be compromised in this government? “I worked in Nigeria Police Force for 27 years and I can swear that I have never taken a bribe, wallahi-talahi. I can be in any company and survive. I will remain the Ribadu that I have always been.”