Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has identified corruption as the only reason Nigeria cannot compete with other developed countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.
He stated this on Thursday while delivering a speech at a rally organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Coalition of Unions Against Corruption in Lafia, the state capital.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, noted that if the nation’s assets were judiciously used and for purposes meant, Nigeria would even be better than the countries.
“Nigeria, by all intent and purposes, is not a poor country; we are not a poor country. I refuse to believe that we are a poor country,” he said.
Governor Sule called on Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable, saying his administration was working towards cutting down on the cost of governance since he assumed of duty.
According to him, those who loot the nation’s resources with the intention of keeping the proceeds for their children are only denying such children the right to use their potentials.
The governor said, “For those of us who want to amass for our children’s children, God gave each one of us brains and these brains are supposed to be used.”
“You used your brain and achieved something, why don’t you allow your children to use theirs?
“Why must you deny them the right to use theirs by amassing wealth so that they can come and enjoy your wealth without working for that?” he questioned.
He, therefore, urged the coalition to take its campaign to all the nooks and crannies of the state with a view to sensitising the people on the ills of corruption.
In her remarks, the Chairperson of the coalition, Hajiya Maryam Ibrahim, said corruption has assumed the status of a cankerworm which has eaten deep into the fabric of the society, doing lots of damage to the country and people.
She commended the efforts of the EFCC in its resolve to mitigate the anomaly, adding that the rally was crucial to engage the citizenry and government to not only prevent and prosecute but also recover all stolen assets.
On his part, the acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, highlighted the significance of the citizenry keying into the fight against corruption.
Magu, who was also represented by the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the EFCC alone cannot win the anti-graft war.
The rally was organised to mark this year’s African Union Convention on Preventing and Fighting Corruption in Africa.