Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to work towards eradicating corruption in view of its debilitating effects on national development.
Osinbajo made the call on Thursday at the 16th inaugural lecture delivered by Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George.
Akinseye-George is a Professor of Law.
The lecture, entitled “Good Leader, Good People, Great Country, Corruption, Constitutionalism and the Sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria’’ was delivered at Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
Represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Matters (Office of the Vice President), Dr. Balkisu Saidu, Osinbajo said the topic of the lecture was apt and timely.
“Interrogation on the topic of this lecture could not have come at a better time than this interesting time in the life of our nation, a time when the practical impact of corruption on the lives of Nigerians is all around us.
“The level of impunity in the face of grand corruption that transpired in the recent past of our nation’s history is absolutely stranger than fiction.
“A situation where over 15 billion dollars meant for the procurement of security equipment to fight insurgents would disappear without a trace, where in a matter of weeks, the sum of N60 billion and 289 million dollars, in cash could be withdrawn from the public treasury without specified purpose for which such withdrawals were made.
“The dangerous consequence of corruption to any nation, irrespective of the system governance it operates, is better imagined than experienced,’’ the vice president said.
Osinbajo further urged lecturers to create an enabling environment that would promote values and nourish integrity among the citizenry.
He said, “Today, as members of university management, lecturers, non-academic staff and students, we are confronted with corruption every day in different guises. These acts of corruption are essentially meant to cause us drift away from what we know is right.
“From questionable hiring process that empanels unqualified faculties, admission racketeering, inflated and depleted scoring system, to high-stake marketing in hand-outs and even examination question papers. These acts prepare our educational system for mediocrity.”
Osinbajo restated the present administration’s commitment to the eradication of corruption in the country.
“As President Muhammadu Buhari has said repeatedly, `If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us’ , hence the need for our administration to be steadfastly committed to the eradication of corruption,” he added.
In his remarks, Prof. Mohammed Mainoma, the vice-chancellor of the university, described the topic as “timely” considering the consequences of corruption on the society.
He urged academicians to rededicate themselves to duty and to excel in life while restating the university’s commitment to initiating good policies that would improve the standard of education in the country.
Delivering his inaugural lecture, Akinseye-George said “My goal in this lecture is to share my thoughts on how our country, Nigeria, can exit the cesspool of corruption in no distant time.”
He, therefore, challenged the political class to demonstrate the highest level of patriotism by paying due attention to the wellbeing and interest of the children and other vulnerable groups and redirecting the society on the path of integrity, constitutionalism and humanistic democracy.
The inaugural lecture was attended by academicians, politicians, traditional rulers, students and the Emir of Keffi, Dr. Shehu Usman Chindo III, who is also the Chancellor of the University.