Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 elections, Peter Obi, has condemned the high rate of corruption in the country, describing it as the bane of Nigeria’s development.
In a message to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated on December 9, 2020, Obi lamented that Nigeria, and indeed Africa, has continued to stagnate under the heavy burden of corruption which has pervaded every part of it.
Obi stated that if not for corruption, which has continued to bite hard on the nation, Nigeria would be among the comity of highly developed nations, judging by the wealth of human and natural resources the nation is blessed with.
Obi called on leaders at all levels of government to understand that development will continue to be far from Nigeria if the dangerous virus of corruption is not done away with. He explained that corruption in the country would be a thing of the past if leaders, and indeed every Nigerian, sanitized their hearts.
“We must purge ourselves of selfishness, greed and self aggrandizement, if we must do away with corruption. If every one of us, especially the political leaders, can dust corruption off our hearts, then we will develop better as a nation,” Obi said.
The former Governor of Anambra State also urged the government to set up the required checks and balances that will ensure accountability in governance. Obi argued that corruption thrives more in an environment of porosity and lawlessness. He said that if there were operational systems that could easily expose corrupt practices, then leaders will be forced to discharge their duties without favour.
He further called for more public awareness on the dangers corruption pose to national development. In his words, “By different means available, we can raise anti-corruption awareness and encourage the public and political leaders to imbibe integrity in their daily lives. If we all pursue moral rectitude as a people, then our nation will be rid of corruption and we will be on the path to glory.”