Thursday, June 2, 2011

A New War Against Corruption in Nigeria?

The new president of Nigeria, Mr Goodluck Jonathan has just been inaugurated for a four-year term, after an electoral process of which many in Nigeria and overseas are proud, despite the terrible violence that followed it in Northern Nigeria. I was hoping that the President would commit to wage war against Nigeria's greatest enemy; the singular reason that country has ambled and stumbled like a blindfolded brute. And thankfully, he has promised to levy an all out war on corruption! Good. And I hope that he will signal that commitment by not meddling in the investigation and prosecution of the outgoing Speaker of House of Representatives, the 41-year old Mr. Bankole alleged to have laundered, I kid you not, $1Billion through a domiciliary account with a Nigerian bank, and for taking out a personal loan of 10 Billion Naira ($67million) using the House's own account as collateral! News reports indicate that his fellow House members are trying by all means to shield this man from prosecution or what they call "humiliation."

I personally do not know if all this is true or not, but several media reports clearly indicate there is something terribly wrong Mr. Bankole's handling of money as the Speaker. Goodluck Jonathan must insist on the rule of law, and must use this screaming case as an example of his new government's claim it won't be business as usual when it comes to massive official corruption in Nigeria. If this case is hushed away, then Mr. Jonathan has no business expecting that he will be taken seriously when next he mouths his opposition to the reign of Corruption Inc.

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