Polls: 5 parties unfold agenda on tackling corruption

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Ahead of the forthcoming general elections, some political parties on Tuesday unfolded their agenda on how corruption would be tackled if elected into power.
The parties spoke at a Big Debate on Corruption and Accountability among Leaders of Political Parties organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) supported by MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.
Chief Paul Isamade, National Secretary, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), said his party would strengthen all anti-corruption institutions to make them more efficient.
According to him, corruption is so endemic in Nigeria and it is the root cause of all the problems facing the country today.
He noted that the country had enabling laws to wipe corruption but the will power was lacking.
Isamade said anti-corruption subject would be included in the school curriculum from the primary to the tertiary levels in order to inculcate the culture in the children.
”We will not pay a lip-service to the war against corruption. We will fight corruption down to its roots.
”And we will reward excellence by celebrating those who are corrupt-free,” he said.
The Presidential Candidate, African Action Congress (AAC), Mr Omoyele Sowore, said if elected as president, he would put in place preventive measures to ensure that corrupt people were not in charge of the national treasury.
He said enforcement of all laws would be prioritised while there would be consequences for all actions.
“If I become the president, Nigeria will be a signatory to any process with the International Criminal Court to make corruption a crime against humanity.
”The way our political parties are formed and the way they recruit candidates are the cause of our inability to fight corruption,” he said.
For the Spokesperson, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Presidential Campaign Council, Kassim Afegbua, the anti-corruption war would be a collective responsibility of Nigerians.
”It will be a deliberate effort to sensitise and mobilise Nigerians to own their country. And the government will insulate itself from agencies set up to fight corruption.
According to him, the anti-corruption agencies will enjoy a high level of independence and we will promote transparency.
Afegbua assured that the party would also promote the culture of whistle blower and protection of witnesses.
He said PDP would ensure open and merit-driven recruitment process into the anti-corruption agencies.
Presidential Candidate, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Mr Tope Fasua, said his anti-corruption fight would be technology-driven.
According to him, Nigerians have conditioned their minds to the belief that the country is created to be looted.
Fasua, who sàid his party would ensure leadership by example, added that psychological test on people running the government would also be conducted.
He said all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government would be compelled to publish their accounts at intervals.
On his part, the National Publicity Secretary, Young Progressive Party (YPP), Mr Martins Egbeola, attributed the corruption rate to the collapse of the country’s value system.
”Our value system will be looked into if YPP is elected into power. This is what the developed nations hold in high esteem.
”Corruption is anti-development. The higher the corruption, the lower the rate of development,” he said.
Egbeola, who faulted the country’s institutional framework to fight corruption, said an individual cannot be bigger than an institution.
”Therefore, we are going to strengthen our value system. We will look at our leadership structure and ensure that leaders with conscience are entrusted with responsibilities,” he said.
He said the party would also review all the extant laws with the view to strengthening them.
According to him, our budget will be subjected to external forensic auditing while the issue of contract inflation will be dealt with.
”Procurement will be done electronically; the process of awarding contracts will be done electronically,” he said. NAN

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