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Only strong institutions can fight corruption from roots – Dogara

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said until strong institutions are built and strengthened, Nigeria might not fight corruption effectively.

Dogara said this on Monday in Abuja at the launch of a book titled: “Antidotes for Corruption: The Nigerian Story,” written by Senator Dino Melaye.

He said that only strong institutions could fight corruption in the country.

According to him, for the war against corruption to succeed, there must be institutional reforms that would help put in place measures to make it near impossible for people to engage in corrupt acts.

Dogara said: “Corruption as a disease must be treated from its roots and not just the symptoms.”

Dogara explained that it was the moral responsibility of all men and women of goodwill to fight corruption because every individual paid the price of corruption in the society.

He said: “As a country, we ran into a situation where corruption was becoming the norm; there was this moral cult that we had created that celebrated corruption.”

He added that the motivation was always there for corruption, but that now, what was important was not just fighting the old corrupt system.

Dogara said: “Really, if we must make progress, our focus should be to replace the old order that was corrupt with a new order that makes corruption near impossible to take place.

“So, when those who celebrate the successes of the fight against corruption in terms of the high profile investigation, high profile prosecution and even detention, they are missing the point because that is dealing with the symptoms of corruption.”

On the book, Dogara said he would not be surprised by the avalanche of criticism that may follow because Melaye was a combination of many things.

He said: “Dino is highly opinionated, obviously, he will be a magnet for opinionated and truculent criticism as well, and he will not escape that.”

Dogara also commended the Nigerian Labour Congress, which protested on May 1, demanding for the rights of workers during the Worker’s Day celebration in Abuja.

He said: “Recently, in the labour community, we went for May Day and some of us were nearly held hostage. You cannot blame the workers.

“While they were agitating for their rights, agitating for minimum wage, some of us are talking about living wage.

“You see, the workers control, perhaps, about 96 per cent of the budget. In the National Assembly, we have about 92 per cent, judiciary and the rest.

“So, if you do not make the environment conducive for those who administer this money not to want to be corrupt, you will end up jailing people.”