Anti-corruption war tougher than Boko Haram – Senate leader
Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume
The Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has advised the Federal Government to introduce preventive measures against corruption instead of waiting for individuals to steal before prosecuting them.
Mr. Ndume, who gave the advice when he addressed a news conference in Maiduguri on Sunday, explained that the measure would help in curbing corruption from its roots.
“The fight against corruption in Nigeria is a big war; It is going to be tougher than that of the Boko Haram insurgency war.
“Government must begin to initiate preventive measures against corruption, instead of waiting for people to steal public wealth before taking action,” Mr. Ndume, who represents Borno South, said.
He suggested that part of the measures should include mechanism for questioning individuals or public officers with sudden massive wealth.
“What I am saying is that government must make deliberate effort to ensure that even those who stole, do not find a hiding place in the society,” Mr. Ndume said.
He said that the authorities must begin to raise alarm once an individual is suspected to have ill-gotten wealth.
“For example, once you see a new flashy building coming up in an area, the EFCC or ICPC should quickly find out who the owner of the building is, then invite him to say where he got the money to start the project.
“If this mechanism is on ground, people will think twice before they even steal public money,” Mr. Ndume said.
He said Nigerians celebrate public officers who steal government money rather than question their source of wealth.
“How can I, for example, begin to buy big houses just because I became a senate leader, when I used to live in my three-bedroom apartment in Apo since 2003?
“Just because I have became the senate leader, I will start buying houses in Maitama and Asokoro in Abuja, and Nigerians will be hailing me and declaring that my time has come.
“If nobody comes to question me, that will be really sad,” he said.
He said that Nigerians must also key into the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by asking questions, especially if public servants become rich overnight.