Saturday, September 12, 2015 7:01 pm
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, on Saturday condemned governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for saying they cannot publicly declare their assets.
The governors had reportedly declared that they would not follow the example laid by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo in declaring their assets publicly.
They had argued that it was not compulsory for them to declare their assets publicly and that they would not be pressured to follow the President’s action.
But the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, condemned the governors’ excuses that public declaration of assets is not constitutional.
Adeniran said: “it is preposterous that governors who rode on the back of President Buhari’s integrity to victory could turn around to claim they are not under obligation to follow in his footstep as regards public declaration of assets.
“Even if the constitution doesn’t make it mandatory for public office holders to make assets declaration public, why couldn’t they do it on morality ground?
“It is morally wrong for any governor to hide under one ambiguity of the constitution to defend public declaration of assets.
“It is a known fact that public assets declaration, which is a standard practice in the developed world, increases transparency and the trust of citizens in their elected representatives.
“As a matter of fact, politicians and public exposed persons who disclose information about their assets show that they have nothing to hide.
“It is important to repeat for the umpteenth time that asset declaration is one of the many tools that can help curb the pervasive corruption ravaging this country.
“It would also translate into a clear evidence of seriousness and sincerity on the part of our politicians in their quest to fighting and eradicating corruption from our land.
“The stand of the governors is highly reprehensible and must be condemned by every well-meaning Nigerian.”
Advising the governors to follow the example laid by Buhari, Adeniran said: “the nation is watching and all political leaders should take a cue from whatever pattern President Buhari shows.
“Public disclosure of assets is crucial for ensuring that public officials’ personal interests as the leaders of the nation, do not conflict with their duties and responsibilities.
“It also helps to provide a baseline and thus means for comparison to identify assets that may have been corruptly acquired and that a public official may legitimately be asked to account for.
“We are therefore urging the president to urgently take measures to seek amendment of the law relating to declaration of assets to include the requirement of public disclosure so as to bring it in line with international standards and best practices such as the UN Convention against Corruption.
“The president must also ensure that all those to work with him declare their assets openly to enable Nigerians monitor them.”