The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has told the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, that he must also blame Nigerian legislators for the pervasive corruption in the country.
On Monday, Tambuwal stated publicly that the body language of President Goodluck Jonathan did not indicate that he has the political will to fight corruption in the country. He decried President Jonathan’s penchant for setting up committees to probe corruption allegations and what he termed “the culture of undue secrecy surrounding the operation of government.”
Reacting to that statement, CACOL’s Comrade Debo Adeniran described the Speaker’s position as a “shameless statement from an inactive control system,” attributing the alarming upswing of corruption in the country to the legislative arm of the government as well.
“Mr. Speaker should realize that the National Assembly is a part of the whole,” he cautioned, reminding the Speaker that his allegation has left no arm of the present government vindicated of corrupt practices.
“Had it been the House of Representatives had played its oversight functions – as stipulated by constitution – it would not have been that easy for corruption to fester in the country. By law, the [House] can influence the decision of the executive to a large extent, but the question is, to what extent has the entire federal assembly used this constitutional privilege? What is the principle of separation of powers for? Is it not for checks and balances? Speaker Tambuwal lacks the moral ground to either accuse Jonathan of corruption or shift the blame on any other persons, because he is also guilty as he had alleged.”
CACOL noted that Tambuwal speaks for the House which has been busy enacting laws to protect the interest of the corrupt public officers.
“What is the motivation behind the bill meant to legalize foreign accounts for public office holders?” it queried. “What benefit will that be to the masses of this country?”
The Campaign warned that criticizing the executive arm on the pages of newspaper is no way to perform oversight functions, as it only makes a mess of whatever efforts the Lower House may have put in place to stem the tide of corruption.
Mr. Adeniran also underlined the fundamental implication of the Speaker’s statement.
“Tambuwal’s statement has further confirmed the height of corruption in the country and how deeply it is entrenched. Allegations are flying everywhere about the unprecedented level of government ineptitude in tackling corruption as many cases of corruption remain unresolved. It is high time the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary arms of the government put down their feet to frontally combat the endemic corruption ravaging the country,” he said.