Corruption is biggest threat to democracy – Lai Mohammed

Solomon Chung, Abuja

Corruption as a menace must be tamed and rooted out if democracy is to survive in Nigeria, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed has said.

Mr. Mohammed said the menace of corruption was apparently threatening democracy and as a result there was a need for all hands to be on deck.

He also said the way corruption cases were dispensed was not in the best interest of the country.

He said this when the 2016 Political Summit Group paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city on Tuesday.

“In Nigeria, we have two categories of cases; one for the less privileged and the other for the privileged few. We need strengthening of our institutions to fight corruption. Investigation have shown while it takes between 34 days and 10 years to convict a low profile accused person, it takes 7 years to infinity to conclude a high profile case.”

  He said there was no alternative if the country must survive and nurture her democracy.

 “We must devote efforts to fight the cankerworm of corruption. From 1966 to other successive republics that failed, corruption has been traced as the reason behind the failures of those republics.

The campaign that we launched against corruption is meant for our people to see corruption for what it is. A clear case at hand is the arms deal where 55 Nigerians looted 1.34 trillion naira in 8 years, thereby denying the entire country the benefit of infrastructure, healthcare, education, housing among others.

If only one third of those funds could come back to the system it would have built us 635.18 kilometers of roads, 36 ultramodern hospitals, 183 schools, educate 3,974 children and built 20,062 2 bedroom houses.”

The Minister said the concept of human rights was being used by people standing trial over corruption cases to avert facing the law. He queried why a few people would use deceptive shields during trials.

Responding, chairman of National Political Summit Planning Committee and former Speaker House of Representatives in Nigeria, Ghali Umar Na’Abbah  applauded the Federal Government on the stand taken to fix the country.

“The President’s strong resolve, political will and determination to tackle the many intractable problems that have plagued the nation for years is commendable.

His determination on the war against terrorism in the North East, aggressive fight against corruption and the methodic handling of the nation’s economic and fiscal challenges give credence to his love for country.”

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had officially launched the anti-corruption campaign on Monday which would run across various platforms in the country.