Don advocates death penalty for corrupt officials in Nigeria, endorses performance measurement framework

President General of Okpe Union, Prof Igho Natufe, has called on the Federal Government to make a significant overhaul of Nigeria’s anti-corruption laws, advocating for the adoption of severe measures, including death penalty for convicted corrupt officials.

Natufe’s remark which stirred a passionate debate on governance, accountability, and the rule of law in Nigeria was made recently while addressing a gathering of Okpe leaders in Lagos, at the 94th anniversary of the Okpe Union.

Highlighting the contrasting approaches to combating corruption between Nigeria and China, Natufe urged the Federal Government to consider implementing the “Chinese treatment” for corrupt officials. He lamented the prevailing culture where corrupt individuals are often celebrated and even ascend to positions of leadership, contrasting sharply with the swift and severe punishment meted out to corrupt individuals in China.

‘’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,” he noted.

He further 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.

‘’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,” the Don said.

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

‘’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.

‘’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’

‘’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’’.

He 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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Written by Nike

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