by Usman Alabi
The recent discoveries made by the EFCC no doubt justify the introduction of the whistleblower policy. Especially, given the fact that over N50 billion have been recovered as a result of the policy.
People are now willing to disclose information about criminal movement of funds around them. But the question is, how far can we go with this policy? In spite of the benefits of the policy, I have a feeling that it is just for the moment, and that overtime, people would be tired of blowing the whistle.
The fight against corruption by this administration looks more like something that was not prepared for; the various policies that were put in place are just the spur of the moment. And then after the whistle blowing, what comes next? The usual hiatus, your guess is as good as mine. How has the government handled the huge sum of money discovered at the Ikoyi flat, there is no doubting the fact that the government is not coming out on the full details as regard the owner of the monies found at the flat, though the NIA director claimed the agency owns the money and that the place is a safe house, what of the ongoing trials, the executive has accused the judiciary but then, they were elected to find a way out and not to complain or point accusing fingers, we cannot continue in this vicious circle.
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The reason why corruption thrives in Nigeria and would continue to thrive is because we do not punish offenders, they always get away, in fact they know they would get away.
The problem is not exactly that we do not have information on looters, the problem is that we do not punish them when they are caught, why then do we have to go after them if eventually we cannot or would not prosecute them. The government consents to this whenever they get looters and then negotiate a plea bargain!
This larcenous economic sabotage is not peculiar to us especially at this level of growth, every nation at this stage of economic development experience this, but what makes the difference is how they address the issue.
Perhaps, the whistle blower policy would go the way of the EFCC and other recently formed anti graft agencies if we do not address the fundamental problem. The EFCC and the ICPC were formed to tackle corruption, yet even in the face of these anti graft agencies; we had had an unusually humongous 16 years of thievery. What more evidence do they need, they had arrested several high profile suspects without prosecution even till date. And then here we are with the whistle blower policy, what are we going to do with the information we get, or are we just about getting the funds and then move on, if we continue to move on, we would continue to come out with loads of policies to tackle corruption without making headway.
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I beg to differ on this whistle blower policy, whatever information we are getting from these whistleblowers is just the spur of the moment, it would die down, this is Nigeria, we would move on, we are used to moving on. The only way we can sustain these policy is to begin to punish culprit, and then it should start from within the circles of government, and it should be immediate.