Fight Corruption Now Or Face Bloody Revolution, Jerry Rawlings Warns Jonathan
Nigerian president, Mr Goodluck Jonathan has been told that his government is under the threat of a bloody revolution like those that sacked the governments of Egypt and Tunisia if he continues to pamper the scourge of corruption in the country. The warning came today from none other than former president of Ghana, Mr Jerry Rawlings who charged African countries to face headlong the war against corruption in government or get sunk.
Tracing the root of corruption in a keynote address the former Ghanaian leader delivered at the 2nd Zik Lecture Series of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state on the theme “Eradicating Corruption in Africa”, Rawlings stated that “Corruption arises from a state of deviation from the moral or spiritual norm; it is a deliberate refusal to operate based on set rules, regulations and laws and with a wicked, if not evil desires to circumvent the punitive actions that come with such deliberate action. Corruption manifests itself in many ways.”
According to him: “It is the willingness to tolerate the intolerable that gives the motivation or momentum for persons or institutions with influence to perpetuate acts of corruption within our society. Corruption at the level of government directly affects the rule of law and debases the moral right of political leadership to serve as a respected regulator of the affairs of the state.
“Corruption in our society is most prevalent whenever the private sector meets government over transactions of state – construction of roads, procurement of goods, equipment and services and provision of various forms of services for the state. As desirable as they may be, development projects and especially the huge modernization projects, lend themselves to this form of corruption.
“It is not uncommon for state institutions and personalities such as Ministers and various departments to award contracts not to the lowest bidder or the best-value-for-money bidder but to the one who effectively offers the highest bribe.”
He urged that “leaders must understand that when you take away the power of the people to express moral outrage, you have effectively disempowered your capacity to fight corruption through the people. Let us have faith in our people and respect them. We have statesmen and women of integrity on our continent.”
He called for a total cleansing of the security agencies as a means of showing commitment to the war against graft. “We also strengthen and clean up existing security agencies such as the Police, the Customs and Immigration Service. There must be a clear spelling out of procedures and processes for accessing government contracts and other services of state institutions. We need to take a hard look at our political systems, which in their present conditions favour bribery and corruption to win power and then more bribery and corruption to recoup the cost of winning”, he added.