Some delegates at the National Conference have intensified their lobby for death sentence for corrupt former and present governors to be made part of the final recommendations that will be submitted at the end of the conference.
Already, the delegates have initiated moves to persuade fellow delegates at the committee levels to consider making death sentence a constitutional matter so as to deter government officials and others who may want to indulge in corrupt practices.
The delegates, who cut across both the military and civilian conferees, have insisted that unless public officers are shot or hanged the ‘China way’, corruption, which they argued has overwhelmed every segments of the nation’s life, would remain unabated to detrimental of the country’s aspiration for development.
Peoples Daily Weekend observed that during the week when delegates made contributions to President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech of March 17, several canvassed the wisdom of capital punishment to curb the growing of menace of corruption in public institutions, while some directly pointed accusing fingers at ex-governors, many of whom are delegates to the conference.
Retired Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Ejiga, had said during his contributions, “We must hang corrupt ex- and present governors. Yesterday, we learnt that $450bn have been stolen from Nigeria. Imagine what half of that will do! It will completely overhaul the economy, lead to industrialisation and eliminate insecurity occasioned by want.
“Yes, we must executed corrupt officials, particularly the present and ex-governors, who have been found wanting. They deserve execution because they have done terrible harm to the people, their nation and to posterity. They have stolen what belongs to the larger society,” he said as many murmured approval.
Also, another delegate and former military administrator of Kaduna state, retired Maj. Gen. Tanko Ayuba corroborated by noting, “If that will ensure a corruption-free future for Nigeria, why not? Corruption is evil, it is devilish. Corruption is virtually in every endeavour in Nigeria. It is overwhelming.
“So, if executing former governors as someone suggested, will put a stop to the wanton corruption in the fabric of the Nigerian society, why not? I share the view that they be executed,” he said stressing that by his background-the military- “corruption is severely punished.”
Peoples Daily Weekend learnt, to this end, a retired military officer is working hard to rally delegates and other like-minded groups to lobby colleagues at the various committee levels to seriously consider recommending capital punishment for corrupt officials to salvage the country from the menace of unrestrained corruption in public service.
Ejiga had buttressed the need for corrupt ex-and present governors to be executed by asserting thus: “If armed robbers are executed for stealing from someone, and often far less sums, why won’t the governors be executed? Yes, they were entrusted with public coffers but instead of keeping watch over the till for the generality of the people, they looted lavishly to the utter detriment of their society.
“Imagine governors ruling for four and eight years suddenly coming into stupendous wealth just for being governors, yet the states that they presided over swim in poverty. If the state kills mere armed robbers, why not kill executive robbers in government.
“If you killed the governors, civil servants who award frivolous contracts, especially at the end of the budget year, will learn hard lesson. It will deter them just as it has deterred crooks and hard-line thieves in China and the society is the better for it,” he said.
Similarly, another delegate and representative of the transport union, Alhaji Musa Isewele Shehu, had during his comments on the president’s speech adduced reasons why the execution of former and present governors would be logical.
“They strangulate the local government councils in their states, which has led to stagnation, gross under-development unemployment with the resultant surfeit of youth restiveness, insurgency, militancy and moral depravity in the society.
“They should be hanged because the empty their states treasuries for themselves and build hotels in Dubai, own estates in choicest cities in the world while their people live in abject poverty. Even senior civil servants, who refused to leave the service even when they have reached the retirement age, should be executed to cleanse the system of corruptive influences,” he said.
Immediate Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufai, threw in her support thus: “Somebody mentioned that we may have to lock some corrupt people up. I support that too. Lock them up for a while and let us see if they can have a change of mind.”
According to a competent source yesterday, some civil society groups, youth organizations and other like minds are collaborating to canvass for inclusion of harsh punitive measures to discourage corruption in public.
Meanwhile, former Senate President and delegate to the conference, Chief Adolphus Wabara, has dismissed the call for death sentence for corrupt officials. Wabara was removed from the Senate leadership over allegations of fraud.
Describing it as barbaric, the former lawmaker said, “I think that was a very careless remark by one of our distinguished delegates. We are not in Ghana where you execute your past leaders. We cannot boldly execute the same policy here in Nigeria,” he said.
Making any law in Nigeria today is one thing, but executing this law is another. How many politicians, ministers, civil servants have been prosecuted since 2011? None! We need a leader who has visions for the country and brave as well.
in the long run, we hope to achieve tangible result with this confab thing.