The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has cautioned the United States Ambassador to Nigeria William Symington not to attempt to trivialise the war against corruption being waged by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The diplomat had been quoted to have said at the convocation lecture of the University of Ilorin, Kwara state that disregard for rule of law is a more grievous corruption than stealing public fund.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that if indeed the American Ambassador said so then the comment smirks of hypocrisy.
It said, “It would be the height of neo-colonial hypocrisy for Mr Symington to seek to redefine corruption when it is common knowledge, and is universally accepted that corruption is synonymous with abuse of entrusted power for private gain.
“Let us remind the Ambassador that the simplest definition of corruption is that it is a criminal activity by an individual entrusted with a position of authority often to acquire illicit benefit, and may include bribery and embezzlement.”
BMO added that even the US also recognised that it has a responsibility of ensuring national security by suspending the rule of law in some cases as it did with the Guantanamo Bay military prison where terror suspects are detained indefinitely.
“It is on record that the US that is widely regarded as the bastion of democracy and justice set up the detention centre in 2002 in the George Bush years, but even after former President Barack Obama took steps to close Guantanamo Bay, the incumbent President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order retaining the detention camp.”
The group insisted that corruption in the Nigerian context is a big issue considering its cost to the country, including how it had in the past limited the military’s capacity to effectively wage a successful war against corruption.
“We recall how billions of dollars meant for the war against insurgency were shared by politicians under the previous government”, BMO said.
It noted that the cost of corruption could easily be seen in the country’s infrastructure deficit in spite of years of high oil revenue, until in recent time when the Buhari administration began completing projects that had been long abandoned even after they had been fully paid for.