Few days ago, Nigerias immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan published his book when he was celebrating his 61st years on earth, he titled the book, ''My Transition Hours''. Instead of the former presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to explain to Nigerians their roles in the mismanagement of public funds since 1999 when democracy returned to Nigeria. 

The Trios continue in their blame game tactics while thousand are dying daily, recently about 70 soldiers lost their lives in Boko Haram attack due to mismanagement of funds allocated to fund the war and infrastructure. This is  unfortunate and tragic that the 19 years of democratic process have brought about poverty, suffering and sorrow to Nigerians as a result of corruption and mismanagement of funds by the so called rullers who are selfish, ruthless and wicked.

Below is the extract from "My Transition Hours".

In fighting against corruption he quoted Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzogwu (January 15,1966): "Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 per cent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds."

Jonathan said, Corruption is as old as Nigeria itself. If not so, the excerpts from the first coup speech in Nigeria excerpted above would not have come. Every successive administration in the country has fought corruption one way or the other but the scourge remains.

The book, My Transition Hours by Goodluck Jonathan can be purchase on and on,, and every leading bookstores in Nigeria for ₦5,000 (paper back) and ₦10,500 (hard back)

There was a military administration that jailed people for hundreds of years for corruption and even used retroactive laws to kill people over certain offenses but they were not enough to serve as deterrence. Even members of the same administration also have their own share of allegations of corruption. (referring to General Buhari, between 1983 to 1985?)

Throughout my presidency, I had to undergo repeated accusations of my government being corrupt. Despite the blackmail I remain committed to combating corruption in a more systematic way knowing it was endemic and systemic. We vigorously devised and implemented a thorough and strategic plan to fight corruption, albeit within the context of the rule of law and due process.

No administration can be either entirely bad or completely perfect, good governance is a process; so rather than doing media hype or arresting and parading suspected offenders on television, my strategy was to strengthen our public institutions, and law enforcement, to prevent people from even touching the money. We worked to define the difference between stealing and corruption and passed legislation to support this. By doing so, we were responsible for arresting more people and giving the most convictions to people found guilty of stealing, or mismanaging public resources, than any other administration in Nigerian history.

Let me explain how we went about doing this: My serving as deputy governor, and governor of Bayelsa State, as well as vice president, and president of the Federal Republic had exposed me to the challenges, and manipulation of revenues that existed in the fertilizer industry. We did extensive research and finally were able to prove how the State and Federal Governments were spending billions of Naira, and only 10% or less of the fertilizer revenue went directly to the farmer. It became more than apparent that the remaining 90% was either being stolen or sent out of the country. It wasn't easy, but we came in, took action and cleaned up!

So, how did we do it? We developed what we call the "The ElectronicWallet" through which farmers got their fertilizer revenue directly deposited into their accounts and people could no longer cheat the government.

Former Nigeria Agric Minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina

The December 2014 delay in federal civil servants salaries was the result of my administration's fight against corrupt officials. I apologized to those families who suffered, but we believed that to fight corruption we had to take the necessary measures to establish and strengthen our institutions. This was a scientific way of combating corruption.

Our efforts to combat corruption with the executive branch of government alone could not effectively succeed. So, I summoned key stakeholders from all three branches of government to a meeting during which I personally appealed to them and argued that only an inclusive approach could bring about success. The judiciary, the legislative and the executive branches needed to join forces if they were to end the theft of public resources and stop corruption. I went on to methodically present my case succinctly :
  • I proposed that we work together to curb the corruption— executives alone could not do it.
  • When matters get presented to the Judiciary there would not be much results if they do not look at them painstakingly.
  • The parliament needed to play a fundamental role in passing strong and effective laws. When they are weak, the judiciary would not be able to do much.

The Chief Justice of the Federation made his comments thereafter acknowledging that he felt the same way. He added that he had to take all the files before the Supreme Court that had to do with corruption charges. After reading through these cases, he discovered that more than 80% of them were not corruption per se. They were, in fact, crimes of stealing. which carry more opprobrium than corruption.

The individuals involved are however not charged in court for stealing, but rather in preparing the case files they used the word “corruption”! It was his submission that I expanded to say that we should stop calling a spade an agricultural implement as corruption does not fully capture the act of stealing. A person can indeed be corrupt without stealing a dime. But those who are incapable of comprehending this elevated thought or the mischievous crowd go about mouthing till date that I said "stealing is not corruption."They never bothered to even check the context in which I spoke. If you ask many of those mouthing such idiocy all over the place to quote where I said it, they will tell you "they said".

It is important also to note how we supported the institutional development of secure systems and mechanisms, to curb corruption in public service and plug revenue leakages. These included the development of the Government Integrated Financial Management Platform, The Single Treasury Account (TSA), and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management Systems and the Bank Verification Number (BVN).IPPIS), in addition to the biometric registration of civil servants and pensioners, which saved the country over N100 billion previously paid to ghost workers and ghost pensioners.

Nigerian's support President Buhari's concentrated effort on the anti- corruption fight, but they are disillusioned when his administration takes pleasure in regularly reporting to the media that Nigeria and Nigerians harbor the least desirable corrupt men and corruption cases ever known to the global community.

The job of the leader of a country is to market his country abroad while dealing with challenges at home. President Buhari's advertising brings up good talking points, but unfortunately the media reports result only in sound bites and fury. The now eight-month administration has yet to record any convictions despite all the allegations of corruption being tried and celebrated daily in the media (seems the book has been written earlier). These allegations have involved my ministers and administration. My character and good work are constantly being assaulted and the allegations continue. The blame game persists.

I will refrain from saying certain things because of the responsibility of the office of the president that I once held and also because there are many cases in court that I will not want to prejudice. But with my vantage position I know a lot about many people that are mouthing "anti-corruption" slogan all over the place today. I had security reports on governors across political parties and what some leading politicians did to raise money for elections in the two cycles i presided over against the law and even the interest of the country.

Suffice to say at this point that we can not in any honesty fight corruption holistically for as long as we are trapped in the current political system that makes it very difficult to use honest funds to capture political power. We would continue this vicious cycle over and over again. This was why I mooted the idea of a single tenure after I saw the bleeding of the system in 2001 but I was misunderstood. We went through the same cycle in 2015 and in the fullness of time it would come to light that the party currently in power spent more than us to prosecute the election and I am not aware of any of their members with inheritance that could have footed such huge expenditure.

The options before us as a nation are two. We can continue to strengthen our institutions and plug the holes like we did with our institutional reforms I had enumerated or we keep parading a few individuals in handcuffs to feed the perplexity of those who have expectations and we are not making delivery to while leaving intact the architecture of corruption.

What is your take on this assertion by the former president on his position in this blame game tactic and jibe they are throwing all over the place, kindly comment below.

THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA A BLAME GAME: Goodluck Jonathan THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA A BLAME GAME:  Goodluck Jonathan Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on November 23, 2018 Rating: 5

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