The vice-presidential candidate of Labour Party, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government does not understand how to fight corruption in the past seven years.
Baba-Ahmed also listed seven manners in which corruption has perpetrated into Nigeria, adding that no government in the history of Nigeria has promoted corruption more than Buhari’s administration.
According to Baba-Ahmed in an interview with Vanguard at the weekend, inflated contracts, which has adversely affected the country since the rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the centre are still in existence under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said: “I’m not so sure President Buhari really understands corruption. I can quickly tell you that there are seven different ways corruption is perpetrated in Nigeria. First, inflated government contracts, which is responsible for anything between 55% to 65% of the quantum of corruption. Second one is unremitted revenue.
“The third one is extortion – from the N50 collected on the road to the multi-million dollar deals that are done before anybody could see the president. Fourth one is conversion of public property into private.
“Fifth is the use of security votes – the way you have it before is the way you still have it today. Sixth one is wastefulness – criminal wastefulness, anything you can create to spend money on recklessly, including undue use of private jets and any other instruments of government that is wasteful, it is wasteful, it is corruption.
“The seventh one is undue influence of fraternity and relationship, which we call influence-peddling (man knows man).”
Baba-Ahmed also talked about addressing corruption through technology saying a larger chunk of corruption in the country has emanated from administrative aspect.
“Buhari has never scientifically looked at corruption. Corruption does not perpetrate itself. There are ways that it happens. Of these seven, some are administrative, some are legal and you’ll discover that about 70% of the way corruption is done in Nigeria is simple administration.
“What President Buhari has been saying about corruption since 1984 has been mere rhetorics, he has never fought corruption till this moment. The way contracts were awarded during the PDP years is the same way that contracts are awarded today.
“Arresting people does not address the issue of corruption. It addresses the criminality. What we should be technically interested in is how did the act happen? They inflated the contract so how would you stop it? It is to control the mechanism. Logical limits and mathematical limits. Those jailed now you’ll discover that some of their cases started during the PDP era.
“To fight corruption, first pass the bill on inflated contracts. Secondly, deploy technology so that people do not under-report or divert Nigeria’s revenue,” Baba-Ahmed said.
He asserted that the president who wants to solve corruption problems should surround himself with technocrats and experts rather than his family members.
Baba-Ahmed added: “You cannot deal with extortion by not leading. When you surround yourself in Aso Rock Villa with friends, family and cronies, the natural tendency is for them to extort money from business people and politicians before they get to see you.
“Surround yourself with technocrats and experts in various fields, not a nephew who was never elected. That is how to fight corruption. Somebody has been doing the complete opposite of fighting corruption but because his actions tally with the typical illiterate, ignorant (pardon my language) Nigerian, who, all they want to see in life is the downfall of others.
“In the meantime, there has never been any government in the history of Nigeria that has promoted corruption in the way Buhari’s government has done and the worst form of corruption is a fake war on corruption. I stand by what I’ve said.”