President General of Okpe Union, Prof Igho Natufe, has called on the Federal Government to review Nigeria’s law to include the Chinese treatment in dealing with convicted corrupt officials in Nigeria.

‘’We recommend the Chinese treatment in dealing with convicted corrupt officials in Nigeria as the most effective method of waging the war against corruption’’.

Those found guilty of corruption in China are summarily executed while their counterparts in Africa, especially in Nigeria, are eulogized and elected to leadership positions at all levels of government.

Natufe who was speaking at the 94th anniversary of Okpe Union asked the citizenry to determine how long they want to watch their commonwealth stolen by political and traditional so-called leaders.

‘’We are aware that sitting legislators (at local, state, and federal levels) will not support this recommendation’’.

Besides, the renowned political scientist who x-rayed the causes of corruption in Nigeria told a gathering of Okpe leaders in Lagos that the suggestion has become necessary to discourage corruption in government.

‘’It must be emphasized that restructuring by itself does not guarantee an end to marginalization in Nigeria. In each local government area and in each state across Nigeria, there are communities marginalized out of the mainstream by leaders and political parties comprised of members of the same ethnic and religious groups, for example, in Delta State and in Okpe Nation. What we have is poor governance across all levels of government, including the traditional system, anchored on massive corruption. Therefore, we recognize that restructuring by itself is never a panacea for good governance, as long as corruption remains the mainstay of Nigerian political culture’’.

Natufe blames political crises in Nigeria on the failure of a good governance system.

To him, elected and appointed government officials, from the president down to the office messenger in a local government council, must be accountable for their actions and policies.

‘’They must provide answers for their activities to the general population. Nigerian citizens, including the Okpe, must demand this from all government officials at all levels of the political system. One way of doing this is for members of each electoral constituency to construct performance measurement framework compelling respective government officials to provide answers for their activities and policies’’.

He said all governments in Nigeria must be compelled to adhere to the tenets of transparency in their decision-making process as well as limiting the chances of government officials engaging in corrupt practices.

‘’Simply put, transparency is the easy and unrestricted access of government information by the population. It is vital that ministers/commissioners and bureaucrats ensure the unedited dissemination of such information as demanded by the citizens, excluding information pertaining to Nigeria’s national security’’.

For effective participation in public policy, he advised Okpe nationals and fellow Nigerians to organize themselves into credible interest groups that constantly review government policies, articulate the positions of the respective constituencies, and engage elected officials in public debates regarding the rationale and impact of their policies and programmes on the society.

‘’This is a very important component of the elements of governance. It is imperative that citizens, including the Okpe, participate at all levels of their government’s decision-making process, not as sycophants but as critical thinkers. It should be emphasized that their participation does not end with merely casting their votes on Election Day’’

He stated that democracy and the rule of law remain the preferred system of governance.

‘’A democratic polity is governed by laws and regulations anchored on the Constitution of the country. This is not different in Nigeria. Therefore, it is imperative that the application of these laws and regulations be fair and consistent, and thus predictable, within the boundaries of the Constitution. Any arbitrary application of the laws and regulations would vitiate the Constitution and inhibit good governance. A critical element of this is the recognition of the principles of jurisdictional responsibilities, especially in a federal polity like Nigeria’’.

Natufe, however, stated that an educated, politically conscious, enlightened and an actively proactive population remained a vital factor for the development of the nation.

‘’In a polity where the citizenry is ill equipped to engage in any of the above, it is a certainty that the rudiments of good governance will readily be compromised by the government of the day. This situation buttresses the view that a society gets the government that it deserves’’ he added.

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