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Cadinal Onaiyekan Says At The Moment It’s Hard To Say There’s A Government In Nigeria

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Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onai­yekan, says anyone expecting that President Muhammadu Buhari to end corruption in the country is definitely oblivious of the level of corruption prevalent in Nigeria.

Speaking at the celebration of the 30 years establishment of the Amity Printing Press, in Nanjing, China, Cardinal Onai­yekan said Buhari’s main problem is that he’s surrounded by people who don’t share his philosophy and ideas.

“You know, after the election, there was a lot of expectations that there would be a change because we all wanted a change. I am not so sure, however, whether we all knew exactly what kind of change we wanted or whether we all prepared to pay the price for the change that was needed.

“The bottom line is this: the country cannot change unless we, as Nigerians, agree to change. And that is where the problem is. Many Nigerians want to continue as they were doing before and they want everybody else to change, but not themselves.

“That is the problem which our presi­dent has. He has with him, a whole lot of people with whom he doesn’t share the same ideas. This is partly responsible for the slow pace of what he is doing.”

Onai­yekan further explained that it is hard to say there is any government in power considering the fact that Buhari has rarely done anything significant since he assumed power.

“It is difficult to say we have one because the government in power has not really taken any action yet for us on which to judge them. They have told us to be patient. Buhari, especially, says we should be patient and let him take his time. Obviously, he has only four years to do whatever he wants to do. He cannot spend the whole of one year preparing.

“Corruption in Nigeria is not basically a question of individuals who are greedy or dishonest because by the time you meet individual Nigerians, we are all struggling. Everybody knows one another and you don’t really want to point finger at any particular person.

Rather, it is a whole system that is corrupt, which needs to be changed – the system of governance, the way business is done in the government offices. All this have to change if corruption is to be tackled.”

“It means also that those who claim, or those who have the job to tackle corruption, must themselves do it in a non-corrupt fashion. This is where it is necessary that the rule of law must be followed. You cannot just pounce on somebody because you think you don’t like him or because people are talking about him. This is the problem that Buhari has.”

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