NO leader, no matter how passionate, can develop a country, without successfully tackling corruption.
The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola, said this in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the opening of the second edition of the National Conference of Anti-Corruption Committees in Nigerian Legislatures and Heads of Anti-Corruption Units in Government Establishments, he said that ICPC was poised more than ever to fight corruption in all ramifications in the country.
“We are starting with corruption because however passionate a leader is to develop our nation, to lead us to progress, to provide welfare, however passionate a leader maybe, if he doesn't tackle corruption he will fail,” the ICPC boss said.
Ayoola regretted that government has embarked on many beautiful programmes and invested huge sums of money in such programmes for the development of the country but they were destroyed by corruption.
According to him, the ICPC is mobilising other institutions including the media to fight corruption.
He said that the fight against corruption was not the responsibility of the commission alone, but the responsibility of all Nigerians.
But speaking on the trend in politics where many politicians defect from one party to the other, Ayoola said it was not a corrupt act for any politician to dump one political party for the other.
But such politicians, according to him, lack integrity.
The ICPC boss argued that defecting from one political party to another is a matter of individual choice and does not in any way amount to corruption.
Ayoola, however, said that ICPC was building a new culture whereby political parties would tell the electorate what they stand for.
He regretted that the ICPC or the electorate did not know what the political parties in the country stand for, maintaining that the current scenario does not augur well for a democratic setting.
When asked how many persons ICPC has prosecuted in Nasarawa State so far, the chairman said he could not give accurate.
He, however, disclosed that ICPC is currently investigating cases of corruption against a few government officials in the state.