Last week, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, after an in interface with Federal Government agencies noted that corruption was more endemic in the civil service than among the political class.
We tracked two other stories from the legislature that gained wide attention within the week under review.
1. Civil servants more corrupt than politicians?
On August 31, Senator Akinyelure said that civil servants spent more years in service than politicians, and that entails “the reason corruption persists in the public sector.”
He stated this at a two-day workshop on ‘Governance, Accountability, Ethics and Due Process in Public and Private Sector Establishments in Nigeria’, in Abuja.
“Civil servants are the masters of (governance) procedures. They spend 35 years in service; while legislators and other politicians seek for votes every four years from the people to renew their mandates.”
Akinyelure’s submission is arguable. It appears to be a subtle strategy of diverting the blame for the systemic corruption in Nigeria to civil servants, and not politicians who have been mostly found to be guilty of it.
His statement resurrects the much-talked about corruption in the civil service, and, therefore, presents, once again, the need for the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, to thoroughly sanitise the system, and set a standard that would ensure accountability, and transparency in the dealings of civil servants.
All said, the Senator, instead of trading blames, should canvass for checks, and balances between the politicians, and servants targeted at curbing corrupt acts between them.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“I will not want to put anybody in harm’s way by a foreseeable combustible political environment. My ambition is not worth the life of any Enugu son or daughter.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. Oloriegbe’s support for Tinubu
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, on September 2, pledged to mobilise, and put in work to ensure the All Progressives Congress (APC), presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, wins next year’s election.
Oloriegbe said this while speaking in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during a reception organised for him by his family members, and supporters.
He said: “… I along with my supporters will mobilise and work for Tinubu and Senator Shettima in the 2023 elections.”
Oloriegbe’s declared support for Tinubu is not out of sync. It is expected of him as a fellow party member to use his political influence to help Tinubu get votes in Kwara, if not win the State.
Besides, the Senator would like to fly on the wings of the APC presidential candidate in order to be politically relevant again, having lost the party’s Senatorial primary election. In this case, if he makes good his pledge, and Tinubu wins, he stands to be rewarded with a political position that would give life to his dwindling political career.
3. Dogara’s confession
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on August 28, averred that the former Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, was robbed of his people’s mandate by the Supreme Court.
Dogara said this while speaking at the thanksgiving service to mark the 90th birthday of Ihedioha’s mother, Dame Dorothy Ihedioha, held at the ST. James Anglican Church, Asokoro, Abuja.
“I want to say this with all humility that our brother here (Ihedioha) suffered a brazen daylight robbery, and I can be quoted, but I thank God that he didn’t bend or become depressed,” he said.
Dogara statement reopens old wounds, and illustrates the internal squabbles within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Given that the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, is a fellow party member, it was most unexpected that he would make such a statement publicly in favour of Ihedioha, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member.
However, keen observers would not find his statement surprising. Dogara has been one of the arrow heads campaigning against his party’s presidential Muslim-Muslim ticket; to the dissatisfaction of many party members.
Though Dogara had stoked controversy with his stand, it is equally commendable that there are still his likes who speak their minds, devoid of any political sentiments. This is good for Nigeria’s democracy.
Answer: Senator Ike Ekweremadu
Ekweremadu made the statement, on June 2, 2022, when he pulled out of the Enugu State governorship race. The Senator is currently facing trial for alleged organ harvesting in the United Kingdom. He is a former Deputy President of the Senate.
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