SHINE YOUR EYES...APC Tells Nigerians (Full Text Of Odigie Oyegun's Press Conference)



Gentleman of the Press,
1. Today, I want to continue the conversation with the good people of Nigeria as promised in my last press briefing and discuss what the All Progressives Congress (APC) plans to do when it comes into government. The subject this morning is corruption; its ill effects on our country and the program of action of an APC led administration to combat it. Corruption as defined by Transparency International and accepted by the APC is “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Corruption can manifest in both public and private sectors, but its ill effects are more damaging in the public sphere because the power of government and its officials to affect the welfare of citizens is generally more far reaching. Corruption in the public sector is a threat to national security, economic development and socio-political stability of our country.
2. Nigeria since independence has experienced varying degrees of corruption to the extent that it has been one of the recurring reasons for change of national leadership. In spite of strong public disapproval of corruption, the cancer of corruption has continued to spread. In the last sixteen years corruption has grown exponentially to the point that the world has come to stigmatize Nigeria and Nigerians as synonymous with corruption. Our national institutions have been ,compromised and the continued survival of the country is threatened. The operation of the national budget and the maintenance of the military forces have been so severely compromised by corruption that national development and security have been massively undermined under the Jonathan administration of the last six years. Using the corruption perception index {cpi} of Transparency international, Nigeria has maintained a score in the range of 25 percent and ranked amongst the bottom level of corrupt countries deteriorating from a bad score of 27 percent in 2011 to 25percent in 2013.
3. Evidence of widespread and rampant corruption abound in our everyday life. Following the last public demonstration against the increase in fuel prices in 2012, a probe into the operations of the fuel subsidy program of the Jonathan administration revealed massive fraud and corruption but no conviction has been secured by this government. The various reports of investigation of corrupt practices in the national pension scheme, the power sector, the NNPC, the Central Bank, government ministries and departments abound and nothing has been done about them. The Administration has demonstrated, both in its body language and explicit actions, a disgusting lack of will and competence to arrest and reverse the debilitating grip of corruption on our national life. Public officials have developed and sustained chummy relationships with society figures being investigated for corruption and former public officials, convicted for corruption, have been selectively pardoned by the presidency. Some of these persons, following their pardon, have been appointed to high positions of influence by the PDP administration and offered their platform to contest for high public office. This is the issue of corruption, an evil that flourished under state – sponsorship and the patronage of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We have a historic opportunity during the forthcoming elections to begin a serious and decisive fight to end this cancer, or submit to its destructive inroads into every facet of our lives.
4. We declare corruption as evil and the APC will fight it with every resource and vehemence that can be mustered. We will promote personal integrity, government integrity and national integrity. In line with the public statement of one of our national leaders that a “fish rots from the top”, any officer in an APC government accused of corruption shall be thoroughly investigated and severely sanctioned if found guilty. Our government shall lead by example and signal, through its explicit conduct, a zero tolerance for corruption. All APC governments at all levels shall mandatorily operate an open budgetary process with quarterly report of budget performance. The spirit and letter of public procurement laws/processes shall be scrupulously complied with. Our government shall as an article of faith honor all contractual obligations and ensure strict compliance with all court orders/judgments. In the international fora, our government shall abide with agreements freely entered into and our foreign missions must honor all contracts so that the image of Nigeria as a corrupt, lawless and undisciplined country will be changed.
5. Fellow citizens who listened to the President’s recent litany of excuses, apologies and claims during the declaration for another term in office, would have noted that he said very little about corruption. There was a good reason for this. Corruption built the PDP, and PDP built corruption into a weapon which it has deployed against all our values and interests as Nigerians. It has built its electoral fortunes on corrupting all vital institutions that should give the popular will of our people expression. This allowed them to acquire governing mandates with which they accumulated public funds to consolidate their control over state institutions and resources.
6. Leaders who emerge through subversion of popular will do not attach primacy to the protection of law and order, or running governments on the basis of the rule of law. Our current security situation is an example of how the PDP government, at the center, has allowed corruption to eat into the heart of our defence and security agencies. The result is seen in the manner terrorists are taking over large territories, and hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens are now living under occupation right under the noses of the Jonathan administration. An APC administration will restore the integrity and capacity of our military to defend our lives and our land by removing corruption from their management and operations. Do not give the PDP another opportunity to deepen the crises in our security institutions, and hand over the rest of Nigeria to terrorists.
7. When the PDP asks for four more years to misgovern Nigeria, ask them what happened to the Fuel Subsidy Investigation Report, and why we are still paying over a trillion naira in fuel subsidy. Ask them how many people have been sanctioned, including public officials, over subsidy scams. Ask them to disclose to you what NNPC generates, and how it is spent.
8. When PDP asks you to trust them with your lives, fortunes and your future, ask them what they have done over the pensions scam, billions that belong to Nigerians who worked hard all their lives for our nation. Ask how you can trust them when they cannot account for hundreds of billions of your money stolen by people very intimately tied to the PDP leadership. Ask them to explain the missing N20b from the CBN revelations. Ask them what has been done with the billions which went to oil and gas producing states controlled by the PDP. Ask them how much was spent by the federal government against the huge expenditure contributed by APC governors of the North-East in the fight against Boko Haram. We fought and won a three year civil war without borrowing a single kobo, today we have borrowed a billion Dollars only to lose territory.
9. When they say they can deal with Boko Haram, ask them why our military is so ill-equipped and demoralized. Ask them what they will do or have done with the $1b loan they got to fight Boko Haram.
10. Shine your eyes, fellow Nigerians! Ask where all the hundreds of billions being used to campaign for President Jonathan by hundreds of well-paid and gorgeously attired groups are coming from. Ask where the billions that will be spent to induce you to submit to another four years of joblessness fear, insecurity and poverty will come from. They will not tell you the truth, because the money is yours. They will use your money, stolen, embezzled or diverted to seek another four years.
11. If PDP gets back, God forbid, you should expect more corruption. Corrupt leaders cannot fight corruption. Our administration will strengthen anti-corruption agencies and reinforce the rule of law. We will save trillions of Naira being stolen, and use it to rebuild lives, provide education, expand infrastructure and take back our nation from occupiers. We will not tolerate corruption, and we will punish those who think they can get away with it. This is our pledge, and commitment to the people of Nigeria. My late father, a colonial civil servant, drummed into me how our erstwhile colonial master will readily spend one pound to get to the bottom of theft of one penny. The APC will likewise do all it takes to tame the monster of corruption.
12. Our administration will launch a vigorous campaign against corruption. The campaign shall comprise short and long term components. In the short to medium term an APC administration shall immediately strengthen and reform all existing anti-corruption institutions to ensure their performance in accordance with the expectation of the law and the spirit of its enactment. The reform of existing anti- corruption laws and institutions, may involve expansion of the court systems, the sanctions system and use of special prosecutors to ensure the speedy prosecution of all cases, while the judicial reform process will be aligned to the achievement of the objectives of the fight against corruption.
13. The Anti-corruption agencies shall be decentralized and states/local government encouraged to establish similar agencies within their jurisdiction. The use of the ombudsman institution will be reviewed and streamlined for efficiency and to meet public expectation. The enforcement of contracts shall be a national article of faith. A framework for the encouragement and protection of whistle blowers shall be institutionalized.
14. An APC government shall launch a comprehensive, nationwide and sustained campaign to fight corruption. The objective of the campaign will be to reverse the spread of corruption through an irreversible and sustained improvement in PERSONAL INTEGRITY, GOVERNMENT INTEGRITY and NATIONAL INTEGRITY leading to measurable positive change in the periodic corruption perception index as published by Transparency International. The long term aspect of the campaign will involve a massive mobilization of the Nigerian people and all residents in a manner akin to the fight against Ebola disease to effect national value reorientation and change. Rather than be a vehicle for propaganda, The National Orientation Agency (NOA) will be reorganized to lead this fight. Our national experience suggests that the twin evil of corruption and impunity are deep in our national fabric and their removal must be as a result of a deliberate and prolonged effort. The components of the action plan will include a review of the educational curriculum to ensure the teaching of national values of patriotism, honesty, industry, civility and fairness at the entry levels of educational institutions nationwide; the teaching of these values, at home by family heads, faith based worship centers and community and local leaders. Compensation/ remuneration packages of public officials will be reviewed and continually monitored to ensure the payment of wages that removes incentives for corruption.
15. To ensure a focused and sustained campaign, a structure will be put in place to undertake a continuous review of the process and to ensure that the progress of the fight against corruption is on track and in alignment with stated objectives and the rule of law.
16. The fight against corruption will be total and rooted in the belief that all major religions in Nigeria and our culture abhor corruption and impunity. An APC government will fight corruption within the rule of law and respect for the fundamental rights of all citizens. We shall fight for change and we must change Nigeria. We believe that an environment of poverty and ignorance is a fertile ground for corruption and impunity, consequently, our economic program of inclusive growth , qualitative education and equitable distribution of the national wealth shall constitute a potent weapon in the fight against corruption.
17. Fellow Nigerians, Nigeria is on the threshold of a new beginning to a future of certainty, peace and prosperity. This can only be provided by our great party, the APC. Give us the opportunity to rebuild our nation so that in our lifetime, we can say, Nigerians can build enduring legacies founded on justice, fairness and honesty. Welcome to the future of SECURITY, INTEGRITY and PROSPERITY – The NEW NIGERIA.
God bless you all.
God bless the APC
God bless NIGERIA
Chief John Odigie-Oyegun
National Chairman
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Abuja, Dec. 4th 2014


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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