After the nationwide broadcast by President Goodluck Jonathan to mark this year’s independence anniversary yesterday, our nation was abuzz with speculations that the President’s claim that Transparency International had placed the country as second most improved nation in the fight against corruption was a declaration falsely manufactured to boost the ego of his administration. Besides, some newspapers reported that Premium Times had contacted the Transparency International to ascertain the veracity of the President’s claim, and the TI flatly disowned Mr President, saying it had no such report. In effect, President Jonathan said, ‘‘…in its latest report Transparency International [TI] noted that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption.’’; Transparency International replied, ‘‘Transparency International does not have a recent rating or report that placed Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption.’’
Our great party recalls that just a couple of months ago, the same Transparency International, in an open letter to President Jonathan, had expressed worry over the scope and speed of corruption in Nigeria this year, saying it is beyond what it has ever dealt with. The letter said, inter alia, ‘‘The problem, Your Excellency, has to do with the rate and scale of scams and corruption probes coming out of Nigeria in 2012. The scope and speed of corruption in your country this year is beyond anything our client has ever dealt with.’’ So we wonder how this international graft-watch outfit had made a somersault within such a short time, with no visible commitment on the part of the government to fight graft.
The All Nigeria Peoples Party [ANPP] believes it is unreasonable for the number one citizen of this great nation to misrepresent statistics as this is a strong message of support to corrupt people and those planning to obfuscate the citizens for their own personal gain. Words and body language are potent enough to aggravate corruption just as corrupt practices would. When a leader embellishes a story, he is inadvertently telling his subjects to turn the truth on its head whenever they find the opportunity.
Hon Emma Eneukwu
National Publicity Secretary