A former Governor of Old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, on Friday, condemned the conferment of one of the 2018 Africa Value Awards on the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for “effective leadership and economic empowerment and development.”
The award is scheduled to hold on Saturday.
Ganduje recently came under heavy attack when a series of videos surfaced on an online medium, Daily Nigerian, allegedly showing the governor receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks from a contractor.
Musa, in a telephone interview, described Ganduje’s award as unsurprising.
He said, “Corruption doesn’t mean anything in Nigeria. A corrupt person becomes a hero, so it is not surprising. The type of people who are awarded are such that really respectable and honourable people would not even honour with awards, even if they were offered. It is terrible. It shows the level of corruption in Nigeria. It means that corruption doesn’t mean anything.”
Speaking on Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s participation in the award as the special guest of honour, Musa chided the vice president for not distancing himself from Ganduje, adding that corruption was part of the ruling class.
He added, “He (Osinbajo) is not ashamed of that. He is not ashamed of associating himself with somebody who is so exposed in terms of corruption.
“In spite of this fight against corruption, corrupt people are honoured, whether people who are alleged to be corrupt or people who are convicted. Corruption is not ashamed in Nigeria. It is part and parcel of the character of the Nigerian ruling class. It is not something to be ashamed of within them.”
On the failure of the EFCC to probe the governor, Musa stated that once one was rich and powerful, one was above being regarded as corrupt, adding that the EFCC was complicit in the corruption pervading the country.
Asked if the EFCC was therefore a partisan, Musa said, “It (EFCC) is even beyond that (partisan). It is part and parcel of the corruption that it is supposed to stop.”
Other recipients of the AVAs include the Ooni of Ife (African Traditional Icon of the Year); the CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; and former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.