LAGOS — Against the backdrop of the bribery allegation between a member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan and business mogul, Femi Otedola, over the fuel subsidy report, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said both the giver and taker of bribe must be punished.
Speaking to the The Guardian of London, Obasanjo said fighting corruption in Nigeria was not a one-night affair.
His words: “Fighting corruption is not a one-night affair.The givers of most of the corruption in Africa are from outside Africa. They do in Africa (things) they would not do in their own countries. In my part of the world, we have a saying that the man who carries a pot of palm oil from the ceiling is not the only thief. He has an accomplice in the man who helps him to bring it down. The giver and the taker are criminals, and they should be treated as such.”
Obasanjo told the newspaper that instead of saying Nigerian leaders lack accountability, the paper should say they are corrupt.
“You are being euphemistic when you say lack of accountability. Call it corruption. There is no part of the world where corruption is absolutely eliminated. But (in other countries) corruption has not been a way of life. When you are found, you are dealt with. And that’s what we need.”
Obasanjo was in the UK to promote investment in Nigeria.
The former president who is working as a roving ambassador, facilitating firms’ entry into Nigeria and the rest of Africa said he believed that positive examples of business success would encourage avaricious minds to look for more legitimate routes to wealth.
He said: “I still believe in the opportunities that Africa affords to make legitimate money. Africa is one place I believe that if you are courageous enough, you get the money, you can invest and get 25 per cent return on your investment annually. There aren’t many places in the world where you can get that return.”