Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, says governors in the country will not be able to fight corruption in their states if they are corrupt themselves.
Ribadu gave the charge at the one day-day retreat of the Rotimi Amaechi led Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on Friday.
Ribadu’s, presentation was titled ‘Building Systems and Institutions that Prevent Corruption’. He said the most important thing in successful corruption prevention and fighting is having honest implementers.
“As is often said, our laws may not be faulty, but operators of the system are wont to be,” he said.
Ribadu told the governors that there was no way they could fight corruption if they were enmeshed in the same crime they sought to wage war against.
“To fight corruption, the umpire has to be clean, honest and sincere. Dishonesty cannot fight dishonesty. If you are corrupt, you cannot have successful anti-corruption campaign.
“Having a corrupt person pretending to fight corruption only creates confusion,” he said, stressing that transparency is the key to fighting corruption.
According to him,what is required for a system to fight corruption were morally upright leadership, making the system zero tolerant to corruption, having laws that promote transparency and the need to set the stage for effective sanction regime against defaulters.
“Preventing or fighting corruption requires your personal charge as political leaders and those at the pinnacle in your states.
“More than anything else, enthroning probity, transparency and honesty is through leading by example,” he told the governors.
Ribadu highlighted factors that encouraged corruption to include poor remuneration, poor living condition, among others, saying these must be addressed by the governors in their states.
He also stressed the need for appropriate sanctions and punishment to be meted out to corrupt officers to serve as deterrent to others.
The governors deliberated on thorny issues of corruption and insecurity threatening the existence of the nation. They also discussed agriculture and education.
At the event were Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abdul-Aziz Abubakar (Zamfara), among others.