A former Minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, has absolved members of political class as being responsible for pervasive corruption in public offices.
Professor Sulaimam who served as Minister during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, said the citizens should rather be blamed because of their overwhelming expectations and unrealistic demands from the politicians upon assumption of offices.
He made these submissions at the 28th Media Parliament of the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ as part of activities marking the 2019 Press Week of the union.
The former minister, who is currently the Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS said there was no basis to expect public office holders to start handing out cash upon appointment, pointing that it could tempt them to indulge in unwholesome practices.
“Corruption among politicians is caused by the people due to unrealistic demands. For instance, a Minister does not earn N1million as monthly salary. But funny enough, some people may approach you that they want to give out their daughter in marriage or they want to hold naming ceremonies. They may come up with N50million demands when in actual fact, you don’t earn N1million as salary in a month.
“To correct this menace, our people must stop demanding frequently from the public office holders so that we don’t end up tempting to do what is wrong while in offices”, he explained.
Sulaiman, who spoke on a topic “Ensuring True Separation of Powers between Legislature and Executive: The Role of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies,” advocated for a constructive relationship among the three arms of government to uphold the constitution and the rule of law.
He, however, challenged the legislative arm to strengthen its oversight function according of the constitutional provision in order not to be perceived as a mere appendage of the executive.
“It is widely recognised that good national governance depends upon the main state institutions working cooperatively. A constructive relationship between the arms of government is essential to effectively maintain the constitution and the rule of law.
“Timely consultations between all stakeholders can play a significant role in avoiding gridlocks, improving understanding and delivering development to the people,” NILDS Director General said.
The Chairman, Kwara State Council of NUJ, Mr Umar Abdulwahab, said the event was organised to interact with those in the helm of affairs at various institutions of government and private sector.
He said that the objective of the forum was to bridge the existing gap between the institute, media professionals and members of the public with a view to promoting good governance.