Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, delivered a brief sermon on corruption at the weekend and ended with some noteworthy words: "We are all guilty."
Speaking during the weekend at an event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Adaba 88.9 FM in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Ojudu, a former Senator, who represented Ekiti Central at the National Assembly, accused corrupt politicians of condemning the looting of the country’s resources.
His words: "When I was in the Senate, I sit down and listen to senators condemning corruption, and I begin to wonder, ‘what is the meaning of this corruption?’ This man who did a thing yesterday has the temerity to stand up and condemn corruption.
"I thought there must be a different dictionary that he reads and which is different from my own. So, we are all guilty of all these abnormalities. However, it is when all of us start coming together and decide that we want to have a better country, where we can live good lives, that things will start moving for us.
"If we don't care about the little things, then we cannot care about the big things. We have so much to do at all levels, and all of us have to come together and say things have to change.”
He also condemned the trend of vote buying during elections, adding that the act was targeted at further impoverishing the Nigerian electorate. He urged the electorate to ask for transparency and accountability from government representatives, rather than money.
"They (poor masses) have the great idea of what to do for them to lift them out of poverty, but they stand right before you and say ‘look, money before we vote for you into power’. fAnd they never ask you where you get the money you give them from. And when you get to power, you goof.
"The same resources that you could have [used] to take care of them, you would now [use] to pay those you have borrowed money from, or to replenish the commodity you have sold to buy their votes. These things are wrong, but all of us must stand together and decide to make this country a better place, because we have no other place to go.”
He berated Nigerians who send their children abroad to study, noting that it is not in the interest of the country’s development.
"We subsidise other nations. We sell our land and our properties and send our children to Britain to study and they serve the British economy and do not come back here," he said. "How many Nigerians go abroad to study and come back? The best of our country go away and the worst of our country are the ones governing us."