Corruption and Boko Haram menace: The way out!

Filed under: National Issues |

Couple of days ago i threw out a strong topical line that challenged the mind of two young individuals. What you are about to read comes as an interview session, as well as a two man public debate, between two youths who believe that change is possible in Nigeria but only if we (the government) follow a certain pattern, pattern which they both presented to us.

 It is interesting, educating and mind blowing… Enjoy!


Who are the Boko Haram fighting, the government or the people?

The Government, both of them (Miriam Okwa Omeni and Vincent Kwambuge Sunday) replied.

But if they are fighting the government, how come the ordinary people are the ones dying?

That is indirect fighting, If u want to hurt a leader or wants attention from a leader, indirectly u go through the people he/she is leading, Boko Haram believes that killing the people through the use of bomb will actually get governments’ attention to them……..but Boko Haram have so many agenda, not only attention from the government anyway.

 If there issue lies with the government, with a g government like ours do u think killing of the ordinary innocent people who still struggles to survive the economic hardship in the country will change the situation?

Miriam Okwa Omeni ‎:The Boko Haram issue is a political war, its not that Mr President don’t know what to do, he knows but because of the political power of those behind Boko Haram, he’s afraid and leaving the poor people to suffer it. Let’s assume all the security agents the AsoVilla refused to work and Mr President is left to secure himself and his family, he will not want to sit back and relax, he will figure out a way to tighten security in the country. Today every one sees corruption as the major problem in Nigeria but if u ask me I will say the major problem in Nigeria isn’t corruption but security because if there is adequate security in Nigeria corruption will drop.

 Don’t you think that corruption gave birth to uprise and insecurity in the country?

Vincent Kwambuge Sunday : The only way to confront the security situation in the region is through intelligence gathering, which depends largely on the cooperation of the people to provide credible information to security agents since those behind the bombings are living among the people.

Although government has a responsibility to ensure the security of lives and property of the citizenry, the present circumstance requires people to collaborate with security agents in confronting the terrorists. People must assist in intelligence gathering because these people are not spirits, they live in homes, they live in the communities. They do their trainings in homes. We need to have information at the level of leadership, otherwise, the North as it were, is being decapitated economically and so there is nothing that the leaders alone can do, except we collaborate.

 Intelligence gathering! Yes i agree with you. But who is going to protect the persons that provide such intelligence? How do u authenticate the true nature of the security agents or agencies u are taking informations to?

Miriam Okwa Omeni ‎: If there is adequate security in the country corruption will reduce. For instance, if EFCC, Police and other security agencies are reliable to an extend that any body who commit any crime such as fraud, stealing of public funds, bribery, sponsoring of terrorist group etc. are put in jail no matter the persons’ personality, I believe there will be less corruption.

Vincent Kwambuge Sunday : No. Is only when corruption reduce that our security will increase, that is when we will have justice(replying to Miriam’s responds).

Miriam Okwa Omeni ‎: What measures are they going to use in tackling corruption?(directing question to Vincent)

Vincent Kwambuge Sunday ‎: 1) There should be no justification whatsoever for the lack of stable power supply, water supply, and low crime rate across the country. Without these, there will be no economic developments at all.

2) There should be rules and criteria simple to understand and administer and the information made readily available: For instance, several activities in Nigeria undertaken by the government put it in a monopolistic position. And if a number of criteria have to be taken into consideration in arriving at a decision, then an element of subjectivity and judgment is involved. The problem may not necessarily be the degree of discretion but the extent to which the process is opaque and shrouded in mystery. Therefore, if the rules and criteria simple to understand and administer and information about them is readily available, then the government’s decisions could be challenged or improved by the citizens.

3) There should be a wider distribution of the information on the rules, a better specification of the criteria, and greater transparency in respect of decisions reached and the institution of a system of appeal will help reduce the element of collusion and the abuse of the discretion that is built into the nature of the activity. For instance, transparency could be introduced in the selection of a school teacher by first specifying weights for academic and professional qualifications and the grades obtained and making this information public. Next, after the interviews have been conducted, the merit list could be published displaying, separately for each candidate, the marks allotted for qualifications and for performance in the interviews. The adoption of such a procedure will enable each applicant to, check if he has been assessed fairly, and whether the final selection was based on merit.

4) There should be appropriate reporting systems and supervisory controls and legislation on people’s right to information on decisions taken or actions initiated by the Government. For example power corrupts when it is wielded without fear of accountability and reprisal. And when supervisors are in collusion with their subordinates it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to have an effective arrangement for accountability. The problem is accentuated by the difficulties of measuring both the performance of personnel as well as the impact of their decisions. The problem becomes more difficult to resolve simply because of the lack of appropriate reporting systems and supervisory controls, especially if cases involving disciplinary action take years to conclude or never.

5) Since corruption emanates from the top, it can be checked by putting honest people in position of authority. This statement, however, begs the obvious question where Nigerians of integrity can be found.

6) There should be a requirement that all reasons advanced to justify the use of the discretionary power should be documented and accessible to all parties to the transaction. By introducing transparency, the practice of exercising discretionary powers frequently and with impunity, without fear of accountability, will be automatically curtailed.

Based on what you have read so far, do you agree with their opinions and suggestions?