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Offline Isaac Adeniran

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Corruption won’t end until  corrupt leaders getting jailed say Wole Soyinka


Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says until  corrupt Nigerian leaders start getting jailed, the war against corruption will never be won.

Soyinka said this in Abuja on Monday at the 8th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa.

The playwright said he recently visited the new head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which will be inaugurated this week.

He said on arrival at the building, he specifically asked the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to take him to the VIP (Very Important Person) section of the detention facility but was delighted to hear that all suspects were treated equally.



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Offline Isaac Adeniran

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Soyinka said, “That we have been bled dry in this nation by corrupt leadership and their agencies is nothing to reiterate. It is a given. And I took the trouble yesterday to visit the headquarters of the EFCC. I wanted to see what would be the mode of hospitality of some of our leaders who will surely, sooner or later, pass through the doors of that beautiful building.

“I am not a vengeful person but I think until we ensure that some of our leaders pass through those doors, this struggle against corruption in this country will not be won, will not be over.

“And so, I spoke to Magu and I said I want to see where the presidential wing is. I said as a human rights person, I want to make sure you treat them right when they come here and he said ‘sorry it is an egalitarian institution, and I said I would take that message back to them that they should get ready to go down a little bit in status when the time comes and justice catches up with them.”

The Nobel laureate said for now, the responsibility of anti-corruption agencies should be to recover the rest of Nigeria’s stolen funds which could be used in developing the nation.

Corruption started after me –Gowon

In his reaction, however, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, said corruption started after he left government in 1975.

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Offline Isaac Adeniran

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Gowon said leaders who came after him started looting because they did not want to end up like him, who was poor after leaving office.

The former military head of state, who ruled from 1966 to 1975, recalled that he was attending an Organisation of African Unity summit in Kampala, Uganda when he was ousted from power.

He said it was his aides that contributed money for him to travel to Britain where he went into exile.

He said, “I can assure you we did not know anything such as corruption. Yes, some of my ministers were accused of corruption but I can assure you that it was something we tried to make sure it didn’t happen especially in our public service.

“But after I left office, in 1975 and the state in which I left office, I can assure you that apart from my salary, it was those members of staff that were with me during the OAU meeting that contributed their estacode to ensure that I had something to live on after I had been asked to leave office.

“That was the only one and then I said I wish I had probably done something, made sure I had provided for the future. I think it was that experience that probably made some after I had left office (sic), it was what made those that came after me probably to make sure that they provided for the future and therefore, you should not blame them for doing that after the experience that I had.”

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