War against Corruption; a fight for our lives – Gowon.

    Elder statesman and former head of State, General Yakubu Gowon said yesterday that the fight against corruption in the country is a fight for our lives, noting that ‘we must win it and win it decisively
    Towards this end, he said there is need for the federal government to fight the war on corruption to a logical end.
    He said that over the last few years, corruption has made good governance virtually impossible.
    Speaking at the 2016 Democratic Governance Lecture in Abuja with the title ‘Global Recession as it affects Good Governance: Need for Pro-active Action-Nigeria as a case study, the way forward’, General Gowon who was represented by his relation, Dr. Dawuda Gowon, regretted that, “Corruption has rendered public institutions, including regulatory and judicial agencies sterile”.
    “Corruption has caused deterioration in the quality of infrastructure, healthcare delivery and education among others. Ultimately, it robs government of the respect and loyalty of ordinary citizens, just as it erodes the authority of the state”.
    Describing “the corrupt mind as your worst enemy”, Gowon said, “I believe the troubles we have gone through over the past few years have helped Nigerians to see more clearly the difference between a self-sustaining economy and one that relies on a wasting asset such as oil”.
    Emphasizing however that government alone cannot solve the problems of the economy and the recession, he said, “Even if they were willing and ready to solve these problems, they cannot do so without the cooperation and mindset of the citizenry.
    “The challenge as we know, is multifarious, caused in part by the fact that the flow of the imported consumer goods that have virtually killed domestic production; this in turn as caused employment opportunities to shrink resulting in escalation in crime and other social conflicts”.
    Gowon however commended the Buhari administration for showing a deep understanding of these problems and exhibiting a strong resolve to contribute to tackling them.
    Speaking on the ‘Role of the Judiciary in Promoting and Sustaining Good Governance: Nigeria as a case study’ Constitutional Lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekome said a government can boost of good governance if it implements eight indicators which are participatory. Rule of law; responsive; effective and efficient; equitable and inclusive; transparent; consensus oriented; and accountability.
    “For instance, if decision making is not transparent, then inevitably there would be no participation, accountability and decisions are not consensus oriented. These indicators should however be understood in the context of good ‘democratic’ governance” he said.
    “For good governance to thrive, the judiciary must strive to maintain its place as the last hope of the common man and the court as the real temple of justice because the personal and social contentment that comes with a sense of justice is what engenders peace in a fledgling democracy like Nigeria” .
    Ozekhome further noted that “Of the three arms of government, executive, legislature and judiciary, it is peculiar for the office of the judiciary to promote peace, through justice. A failure in this regard would spell doom for democracy because there is no faith in the judiciary, the society would resort to self-help rather than the court and the logic of the fish would prevail as the strong swallows the weak might become right”.
    The Ghanian High Commissioner to Nigeria, William Awinador-Kanyirige and the MD of DESOPADEC, Olorogun Williams Makinde were guest speakers at the lecture organized by the Center for Democratic Governance in Africa (CDGA).

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