2019 Presidency: PDP, AAC others reel out plans on how tackle corruption
…as APC shuns debate
Ahead of February 16 Presidential election, five political parties; the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), African Action Congress (AAC), Young Progressive Party (YPP), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), and Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) have revealed their plans on how to tackle corruption in Nigeria.
The political parties reeled out these plans at a debate held in Abuja on Tuesday, which was organised by The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), with the support of MacArthur Foundation.
The debate, with hashtag #BigDebate, engaged leaders of five political parties, who were present to explain their policy preference for addressing the perennial problem of corruption and promoting public accountability in Nigeria.
While nobody represented the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore; Spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation representing Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kassim Afegbua; Presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Tope Fasua; National Publicity Secretary of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) Olawale Martins; and Paul Isamade, the National Secretary of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) were on ground to answer questions from the audience.
The leader of five political parties agreed on a single position, by describing corruption as the bane of development in Nigeria.
Corruption has been a topical issue which present government in the country is said to have been making numerous attempts to tackle through reformation of institutions, develop applicable legal frameworks, formulate and implement policies to promote a corruption-free environment.
Speaking on the topic, Kassim Afegbua of PDP said, “The global definition of corruption is monopoly plus discretion minus accountability. It’s the monopoly power of an individual that makes him abuse his discretionary power.
“What we will do as a government is to ensure that we deny the institutions and agencies fighting corruption of that monopoly power, rather than have a chairman taken from the Nigerian police as EFCC or ICPC chairman.
“You will have a board made up of distinguished Nigerians who have proven record of integrity and accountability, because the history and perception of the Nigerian police, is not one where you can find Angels.
“Nigeria is a country of sins without sinners, look at the individuals making commentaries that this and so person are corrupt, they too are a mesh in endemic corruption.
“As a government once you are able to deal with the issue of abuse of monopoly of power, you will now to ensure that there are special courts, created, established to thrive corruption cases, given full independence to be able to take action and conclusively deal with incidences of prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases. We will also promote the culture of printing whistleblowers and protecting witnesses.”
On his part, the Presidential candidate of AAC, Omoyele Sowore noted that the biggest problem in Nigeria is how we do our businesses in Nigeria.
According to him, “It’s very important that in dealing with corruption in Nigeria, using technology to aid prevention, there’s what they call block chain technology with encryption that you can use.
“The biggest problem is how we do our transaction in the public sphere, and the lack of transparency in the way we conduct our business. The moment you remove that, all the thieves will be left dry because before they get anything done, we have seen it and tracked it.
“The second thing we are going to do is ensure that our assets is made publicly available, it should be something that you can download.”
In his own comment, ACPN National Secretary, Paul Isamade, said, “Our party will fight corruption from the roots, corruption exists even inside the churches, the churches encourage corruption in this country, traditional institutions also aid corruption by giving out awards to corrupt people.
“Fighting corruption in this country has to take a different dimension, apart from strengthening the institutions that are empowered to fight corruption, the national orientation agency in Nigeria are not doing anything about it, we need every agency to go enlighten the people continuously even down to secondary schools.”
National Publicity Secretary of YPP, Olawale Martins disclosed how Mr Kingsley Moughalu intends to apply a systematic approach.
He said, “It’s centered around the use of ICT to tackle the problem of corruption. The issue of budget padding and contract inflation.
“After an analysis, we discovered that over 90 percent of the current corruption problem that we are having us as a result of this two sources that we identified, and we will tackle this using external forensic auditing, before it goes to National Assembly we will ensure that its being watched and audited, to ensure that there’s no duplication.
“On the issue of contract inflation we are going to automate the system. The attitude of fighting corruption in this part of the world is like that of bow and arrow, automate the system, make sure that procurement is done electronically.
“This will reduce drastically the issue of corruption in this country. Official corruption is the main reason why we are where we are today and the only way to put an end to it is to be able to reduce the human effects and this we will able achieve within four years because we have stipulated our procedures on how things will be done.”
According to ANRP Presidential candidate, Tope Fasua, “Technology always delivers, one the things that causes corruption in this country is addiction and psychological problems.
“In our party constitution what we are going to do I live by example, we are going to declare out assets open, leadership by example is great, technology is very important, psychological tests of people who are running government is very important.”
Earlier, while introducing the candidates, Eugenia Abu, who anchored the event, said the APC was invited but didn’t turn up.