Nigerians are not yet tired of corruption, which is why it is still being tolerated, former Director of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Agency, Prof Patrick Lumumba has declared.
Speaking at the 49th annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, Lumumba said: “the day Nigerians become tired of corrupt practices, the actions that would follow would put an end to graft.”
He lamented that in a society where people celebrate those that fraudulently enrich themselves, corruption will continue to thrive.
Prof Lumumba maintained that “corruption is a crime against humanity. Experiences have demonstrated that if a people in a country are sufficiently fed up they will rise up.
“If we think that the international community will solve our problems, then we have shown that we are incapable of solving them.
“Sometimes, I think Nigerians and many Africans are not fed up. Because the day we are fed up, things will begin to change.
“But as long as we celebrate thieves, as long as we celebrate money no matter how they are got, everybody will want to have the money and they don’t care about how it is got. The day we begin to get angry, the country will change in one month.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, while declaring the conference open, said that government has recognised the damaging effect of corruption on the economy and is doing everything to address the issue.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Buhari noted that corruption and impunity grow when accountability is disregarded and people get away with all manner of questionable things and accountants are unable to check them.
He said his administration’s fight against corruption “is a struggle for nation-building and the future generation.”
According to the President: “If we do not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, we will not get the result that we need.
“On our part, we will continue to provide the desired leadership and I am certain and optimistic that the glorious day we all long for will not be long in coming.
“Corruption, our greatest enemy will certainly fight back, but we must continue to fight to effect a change to our value system.”