Corruption: Nigeria Now A Laughing Stock, Says Magu
Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has said that Nigeria has become a laughing stock due to the level of corrupt practices perpetrated by high profile public holders.
Magu said this in a Abuja on Monday at the 68th General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, which had the theme, ‘The Nigerian Media and The War Against Corruption’.
“Corruption in Nigeria is cancerous and has defied every effort at eradicating it while making the country a laughing stock in the committee of nations. There are few nations that are as rich as Nigeria, yet poor.”
“Poverty in the midst of wealth is the paradox of our existence, and corruption is the culprit,” the EFCC boss said.
According to Mr Magu, while some Nigerians are content blaming successive regimes for lacking the will to tackle corruption, the majority of citizens share in the blame.
“As citizens and professionals, we have roles to play. The question is, how effectively have we played our roles of helping to fight corruption in Nigeria?”
Magu, while challenging the media to play its role noted that the anti-graft war is arguably the most urgent issue in the nation’s national agenda.
His words: “As the fourth estate of the realm, the media is the only profession that is constitutionally mandated to hold the nation’s leaders to account. How has the media fared in the discharge of this mandate?
“The roles which the founding fathers of the modern journalism played in the anti-colonial struggles are very well documented. The media was also at the vanguard of the struggle for the liberation of the country from the shackles of military dictatorship.
“But since the return to constitutional democracy in 1999, what has been the experience? As an observer, I will say the experience has been mixed. We have seen flashes of courageous reporting that have strengthened our public accountability architecture even as we also continue to be assailed by pedestrian performance by renegade section of the media involved in cronyism, sycophancy, and outright graft.”