Entries on Arts
The rising wave of violence in the run up to the April polls calls for concerted efforts from all stake holders to stem the tide of the critical election are not to be threatened or marred. Across the polity, violent conflicts are raising fresh concerns on the prospects of smith conduct of the polls which are less than two months away. In Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, recently, unknown gun men disrupted the senatorial campaign rally of the Action congress of Nigeria. When the dust neared, an ACN Stalwart, Dr Charles Anokwa was discovered missing. There have also been reports of violence in Gboko, Benue State and Bayelsa State, between rival political parties. Also, on February 25, 2010, unexploded bombs were recovered at the VIP pavilion during the flag-off of campaign for re-election of Government Sullivan Chime of Enugu State. It is significant to up this undesirable trend in the bud before it becomes the hallmark of the coming elections. The paper identifies the absence and lack of democratic norms among politicians and the politics of winner takes all with scant regard for service delivery to the populace has enthroned a do or die” political culture in which contestants are determined to win at costs, and what ever means, fair or foul are the major threats to April 2011 elections. The paper concludes by positing that the playing of politics with bitterness could torpedo plans for peaceful polls. This is because violence has now become a way to settle scores, with lives sometimes lost in the process, as political assassinations have also been employed in some states. The paper enjoins Nigerian politicians to eschew playing of politics with bitterness.
Endemic corruption has become an issue of major political and economic relevance in recent years. This has led to a resurgence of interest in analyzing the phenomenon and the diverse forms that it assumes in developing polities with an expectation that democratization and economic liberalization offer potential routes to dealing with the problem. As Nigeria moves towards her 51st independence anniversary, the polity is at crossroads in its fight against graft. Aside from its internal battle to fight corruption, recent revelations on mega bribery scandals being perpetrated by the ruling elites have confirmed that corruption is a cancer that may stunt the nation’s growth. In spite of the effort s of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) stem the rising tide of corruption in the country. The socioeconomic menace has continued to maintain it’s upwards trend, especially among public servants and political appointees. Critiques of the anti-corruption agencies blame the ugly trend on the mode of operation and of the agencies, which according them should be restructured. Some observers have also put the threshold on the criminal justice system and call for the creation of a separate court with the jurisdiction to try all allegations of corruption. The paper examines in a thematic form the various forms and types of corruption. The article also identifies various reasons that inhibit the graft war in Nigeria and the implications for governance. The paper concludes by positing that the recent political history of corruption in Nigeria suggests that corruption is not new, and that, indeed, corrupt practices have been part and parcel of Nigerian politics from inception.
INTRODUCTION The deluge of environmental problems facing the world today has made it imperative that we re-examine our relationship with the environment, especially as most of these environmental problems are caused by human beings. The environmental system has continued to deteriorate owing to what many believe to be the result of over-exploitation of nature. Many would readily argue that much as man’s activities towards the environment have the survival and well-being of humans as the driving force, the environment and its non-human contents have a value of their own that needs to be upheld. It is the realization of the truism in this assertion that led to the emergence of different pro-nature or environment groups with the primary aim of conscientizing the public on the possibilities and the urgent need for establishing an ethical/morally-based relationship with the natural environment. This paper, therefore, is an exposition and appraisal of some key issues and systems/schools of thought in environmental ethics with the aim of laying bare the latent implications of these varying schools of thought vis-à-vis man and the environment. It also demonstrates that irrespective of the use the environment and its non-human contents can be to man; there is the need and the possibility of developing an ethical-based relationship with the environment.
The objective of this study is twofold: to explore the legal framework for the fight against corruption in Nigeria, and to offer some reform measures for the reduction of corruption in the polity. It is hopeful that the public sector will become more efficient and effective if the recommendations delineated in this analysis are implemented. This is because with a number of empirical studies and theoretical policy debates linking corruption to a series of accountability failures, which lead to socio-economic cum political pathologies, especially, poverty and underdevelopment, transparency and accountability based on this prognosis, are prescribed as palliatives for political corruption, and developmental failures. Framed in the development context, the argument is that accountability is a path to empowerment in terms of both answerability, and enforceability of public duty-bearers to provide information and justification about their actions, and penalties for accountability defaulting, above all, a means of repairing the ‘leaky pipes’ of corruption and inefficiency. Hence channeling national resources more effectively towards result oriented development initiatives. In other words, anti-corruption war was made one of the foremost features of the “effective state”, and a movement for good governance, albeit the latter, not a democratic principle. Realizing that corruption is not, intrinsically a crime, until it is expressly prohibited and made punishable under the law, several anti-graft programmes which include preventive, and punitive measures have been implemented in fighting the scourge of corruption. The paper is structured into various sections. The introduction is closely followed by a literature review on the corruption, theoretical framework of analysis, the legal framework for anti-corruption and the need for government accountability. In order to accomplish the study purpose, the analysis uses an exploratory case method to give a historic synopsis of the Nigerian anti- corruption institutions. In sum, the paper concludes with some recommendations on how to increase accountability in the public sector.
Corruption in Nigeria has festered and irredeemably so due in part to the virtual non-existence of institutional mechanisms for ensuring that the machinery of governance and public administration are not unduly distorted or diverted to the satisfaction of egotistical and parochial interests. Nigeria’s public service is saddled with a bureaucratic arrangement that is notoriously overbloated, yet it is always easy for particular officials or civil servants to hijack the paraphernalia of public service and deploy same in the service of amoral designs. The just concluded probe by the Nigerian Senate on the mismanagement of the police pension funds is one incident out of numerous cases which exemplifies this odious phenomenon. The leadership newspaper captures it as follows: “At last count the amount said to have been stolen amounts to about N156 billion. Perhaps most disturbing was the brazen falsification of documents to withdraw the pension funds that will not get to the beneficiaries.” Illustratively, there was a situation where the Senate probe committee heard how officials of the Police Pension Board falsified documents to withdraw N24 billion from the budget office for the payment of pension that required only N3.5 billion. One does not require any further elaboration to prove that Nigeria, as a social entity, has lost its soul. For when a society degenerates to the level where public officials cultivate sadistic delight in stealing death benefits of retirees, such officials will also harbour no reservations about stealing the buried coffins of dead bodies. This paper examines the police pension scam that was investigated by the Nigerian Senate. It explores the background information to the scam, the investigations and findings. The paper concludes by positing that the scam is a blatant indication of the porosity of the county’s institutions and the weakness of its statutory processes for the public officers indicted in the pension probe to have found the latitude to flirt with such stupendous sums of money without any institutional inhibition. Even with the hullabaloo being made by Sanusi’s CBN about the all-important requirement of lodgement disclosures in the new banking reform, it is curious that debauched public officers could launder and divert public funds into private accounts without being dictated and halted.