90% Of Nigerians Are Corrupt...Right From The Grassroots Level, Says Ex-Sokoto Gov Bafarawa

FORMER Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa bared his mind on national issues in a chat with Daily Sun and stated that although the EFCC arrested and detained him unjustly, he has no grudges against the Federal Government or President Mu­hammadu Buhari.

He reasoned that his arrest does not imply guilt already and wants the EFCC to do a tidier work in investigation. While he called on Nigerians to align with the government in the fight against corruption, he also said the nation made a terrible mistake in 2012 when it resisted former President Goodluck Jonathan’s move to remove the fuel subsidy.

He cautioned Nigerians not to do the same in re­spect of the anti-corruption struggle of the present administration.

Making much from little

When we took over from the military in 1999, the crude oil price for a barrel was $9 per barrel. And in 2007, it increased to $30-$40 and yet we left a lot of legacies in our various states at that period.

I, for instance, left almost N12b in government treasury. But from 2007 to 2015, unfortunately oil rose above $100 per barrel and then one will wonder, those who left in 2015, they have to look for bailout from the Federal Government despite the amount they collected in allocations from 2007 to 2015.

So, I just compare the tenure with my eight years in office, and eight years after I left, what we met, what we received, we managed and our legacies are still there to show. In my own state, you can still go there and ask what has happened in the season after we left. Despite the little money we got, we left mon­ey. Therefore, I asked myself from 1999 to 2007 we have got a leader who was cut out to fight corruption because, it was former President Olusegun Obasanjo who created the EFCC. Whatever name you give him, whether to witch-hunt or anything else, at least, it assists in fighting corruption. For whatever reason, at least it laid the foundation, recognizing corrup­tion and he fought it. Whether he fought it rightly or wrongly, at least it achieved something. Even form­ing the commission that is going to fight corruption is an achievement. So, he gave attention to that, and every Nigerian was aware of the commission created by the Obasanjo administration.

After he left, the Yar’Adua administration didn’t do much, Jonathan administration didn’t do much and that’s what made corruption to grow to the level we have today.

We Are All corrupt

Today, corruption has become a general thing as you can see that 90 per cent of Nigerians are corrupt, because when you go to the grassroots level, corrup­tion starts from there. The electorate will demand money before voting a candidate, no matter how good such is or the ideology she has. All that the voter wants is how much the candidate is ready to give. Then he who is going for the election will first look for money, whether he borrowed from the bank or his godfather will sponsor him is immaterial. That is the beginning of corruption, from the grassroots to the local government level, state level to national level. The electorate are corrupt; the politicians are either corrupt or forced to be corrupt because when they get to the office they are elected for, their first concern is how to pay the money back. They cannot get this money without the collaboration of the civil servants, because governors do not write the memo or raise the voucher.

The civil servants will collaborate in bringing out the money and then you can see how corruption spreads all over.

For the Buhari administration not to take part in corruption is a blessing to everybody. We should not see it as Buhari fighting corruption, but as a war, we should join hands to fight. Buhari cannot do it alone and the danger is that if corruption is ignored, it is go­ing to swallow the country, because we can now see the danger of where we have found ourselves.

As I said earlier, where are all the money from crude oil that they all vanished and government has to send bailout to states? But what President Buhari did is that before bailing them out, each state had to set out up a committee to investigate how they got the loan, what they did with it, how they incurred the debts and all.

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