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Corruption: Is The Death Sentence The Solution?

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By Bolanle BOLAWOLE
turnpot@gmail.com 0705 263 1058

There is no denying the fact that corruption has become endemic in our country Nigeria and that it has eaten very deep into every fabric of the society. I listened to a vox populi on social media some days ago where Nigerians who had “japa” from the country were asked whether they would “japada” Not a single one of them said they would!

BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
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BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

Why, they were asked, and they answered that it is because the situation that forced them out of the country has not changed. The country’s problems, they added, are leadership and corruption. Tame corruption and Nigeria will become a better place, they said. Enthrone good leadership and the country will, in no time, become the same Eldorado that its citizens “japa” on a daily basis in search of.

It is common knowledge that Nigeria is not short of solutions to its problems, implementation has always been the problem. Who will bell the cat, as they say? Karl Marx hit the nail right on the head when he posited that “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world. The point, however, is to change it”

On Saturday, 27 April, 2024 at the online publication, Treasure newspaper’s first public lecture and award ceremonies held at the Conference Hall of Solab Suites Hotel, FUTA South Road, Akure, Ondo state, the controversy over whether or not the death penalty was sine qua non for taming corruption reared its head again. Guest lecturer, Segun Maiyegun, a household name in student union and pro-democracy activism, voted for public execution of corrupt Nigerians. The topic of his lecture was “Home-grown economy as a road map for economic sustainability: Examining the prospects under the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration”.

“I am calling for the death sentence on anyone who embezzles”, Maiyegun said unequivocally. But speaking later, the Ondo State Honourable Commissioner for Information, Mr. Wale Akinlosotu, who stood in for his governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, disagreed. According to him, Nigeria must toe the line of international best practices on the subject matter, adding that there are enough laws in the country’s statute book to effectively tackle the cankerworms of corruption.

Pointing to China’s example of the death penalty for corruption, Maiyegun had said that “harsh punishment“ is needed to deter corrupt practices. He also advocated an understanding of the inner workings of political economy because politics, according to him, “is the answer to economic problems. We need people to understand the interplay and contributions of individuals” to national development. He advocated restructuring that will devolve more powers over control of resources from the Centre to the states while also calling for a free marketplace of ideas and knowledge. “People want to know their leaders; let the leaders come closer to the people”, he said.

Pro-democracy activist and chairman of the occasion, Debo Adeniran, argued that practical steps were needed to turn the country’s comatose economy around. He said critical minds are required to ask critical questions that would proffer solutions to the country’s myriad problems. “I give it to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: he was in the streets, too. He was with us in the streets. If there is anything happening, he intervenes”. He was referring to those years of the struggle to end military rule when Tinubu was an activist who marched in the streets with other pro-democracy activists. “I am not a fan of Tinubu but he intervenes when there are issues”, he added for emphasis.

One other serious problem that was discussed at the event was that of insecurity and the role played by the proliferation of light or small arms. The Southwest Zonal Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small arms and Light weapons, Mr. Benson Sola Akinlade, said the country’s economy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity because, according to him, economic sustainability is inseparable from security sustainability. Highlighting the Centre’s efforts at preventing and controlling the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, he said thousands of such illicit weapons have been successfully mopped up.

Akinlade, however, raised concern about what he termed the activities of an unauthorized outfit called the National Commission on the Control of Small and Light Weapons falsely presenting themselves as the focal organization for small arms control. “The action of these unauthorized bodies has the propensity to further compound the already complex task of small arms and light weapons control and may potentially result in confusion and lack of of credibility, leading to administrative disputes, which may hinder the Centre from carrying out its mandate effectively”

It is important for the relevant authorities to look into this allegation. Proliferation of small arms and light weapons is at the core of the country’s insecurity woes. This, in turn, has bled the country, causing it to lose scarce resources that could have gone into other pressing needs. In addition, insecurity has driven farmers off the farm, leading to the escalating cost of foodstuffs. Millions have been displaced from their homes and, for the first time since Independence, the country suffers the scourge of internally-displaced persons, with crushing burdens on both the state and Federal Government.

Day after day, week after week, month after month and years-on-end, ideas that can lead to the building of a prosperous, peaceful and secure Nigeria are marketed all over the country; the Treasure Newspaper lecture is another example. The event was well attended by the intelligentsia and politicians alike. But, away from that, is anyone listening? Are the relevant authorities taking note? Will anything useful come out of the ideas freely traded at the event? The answer, as they say, blows in the wind!


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