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page 5 Osinbajo, Kolade seek renewed push against corruption · Says private sector strong graft collaborator By Isiaka Wakili Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday called…

page 5

Osinbajo, Kolade seek renewed push against corruption

· Says private sector strong graft collaborator

By Isiaka Wakili

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday

called for an urgent need for “a new tribe” of Nigerians to fight and dismantle corruption in the nation’s private and public sectors.

He spoke in a keynote address at the annual dinner of the Apostles In The Market Place (AiMP) on the theme: “Change Agents in Nation-Building” Saturday evening in Lagos.

Osinbajo said corruption had pervaded all facets of Nigeria’s life such that the main challenge for the government now is to find the right persons to fight the scourge.

“We need a new tribe of men and women of all faiths, tribes and ethnicities, committed to a country run on high values of integrity, hard work, justice and love for the country. This will be a tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and self-constraints that are crucial to building a strong society, who are prepared to stick together, fight corruption side by side, and insist on justice even when our friends are at the receiving end”, he said.

He revealed how he and President Muhammadu Buhari had been working together to get the right people for the task.

Corruption was the norm across all arms of government with the private sector as a strong collaborator, he said.

His comment came a few days after President Buhari said during his trip to Egypt that the war against corruption needed to be fought relentlessly.

A statement by his Special Assistant to on Media and Publicity Laolu Akande, quoted the vice president as saying: “I have had several long discussions with President Buhari. The key issue always is finding the right persons for any task, a tough task indeed in a corrupted system”.

The perpetrators and conspirators of corruption were in government, the legislature, the judiciary and the press, he said.

He, therefore, described the ongoing anti-graft war as a fight against the system, adding that such a corrupt system could hardly deliver public goods.

“How many new roads has the federal government of Nigeria managed to build in 10 years? Where have the billions of dollars in the days of $100 oil gone? The shocking theft of funds meant to procure arms to defend the nation demonstrates the moral ambivalence that pervades our system. That system needs to be dismantled if the nation is to progress,” he added.

He noted that Nigeria’s greatest battle is the one to bring integrity and accountability to public service and the private sector.

“This requires a new way of thinking, a new leadership crop, a new tribe. The challenge today for us all, friends and colleagues is to populate that new tribe”, he said.

“When you look at any list of alleged perpetrators of a heinous case of corruption, all tribes, ethnicities and religions are well represented. In other words, high level corruption knows no religion or ethnicity.

“Such perpetrators and conspirators are in governments, the legislature, the judiciary and the press. They are united, they protect each other, they fight for each other and they are prepared to go down together.

They are one tribe, indivisible regardless of diversity. It is this tribe that confuse the arguments for change in society”, he said.

Elder statesman, Christopher Kolade, said the new tribe Osinbajo advocated must be made up of Nigerians who accept and believe in a “society where good things are the norm”.

Kolade said the new tribe of Nigerians were those who wanted to tell the truth and who wanted the truth.

“I sometimes ask the lawyers in our country: do we have a court of law or a court of justice? If we could all say we are working for a court of justice and not a court of law, we will all be in the new tribe”, he said.

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