Former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday, said it can only take functional institutions, workable judiciary and passionate leadership for the country to achieve meaningful development.
Ribadu, who spoke at a “Mentor Me Forum” organised by Group of Patriotic Corpers in Abuja, said he has no regrets fighting fraudsters the way he did, during his time as the Nigeria anti-graft boss.
His words: “What Nigeria needs to realise its potentials is, unfortunately, not a mere change of leadership. We don’t need anyone from outer space to come organise our polity,” he said.
“We need ourselves—our virtues and belief in a collective struggle for good governance. What we need are functional institutions; we need institutions that pander to the principle of honesty and that socialise successions of citizens who will extol this principle.
“We need leaders for whom the sufferings of the masses are immediate concerns, not jokers that insult the yearnings and honest observations of the electorate. We need institutions in which the lawmakers gather to discuss the plight of their constituents, not losing their sense of our realities in the luxuries of the state and federal capitals.
“We need a judiciary that exerts its independence and resist any prejudice in the discharge of justice. We need a civil service that does not ask for bribes to do that for which they receive salaries. We need institutions! We need functional institutions to restore the lost glories and trust that make a sane nation.”
Ribadu, also spoke on his job as the chairman EFCC, saying: “My appointment as Chairman of the EFCC, for instance, was a turbulent task in which I had to follow the statements of my previously written will to serve in a country where, for lack of functional institutions to check mismanagements of public funds and related criminal misconduct, trust in public institutions had become demolished and perpetrators went about wearing their crimes like badges of honour.
“I was given an appointment to stand in the way of these celebrated fraudsters—without an office and funds to launch my operations. My success at the EFCC, especially in resisting all tempting offers and calls to bend the rules, was a direct result of my vow from when I was like you that I will never be corrupt. I resented corruption not by lips of mouth but by personal conduct. I refused to be bribed or compromised throughout my public service career. Yet, I am ever happy with myself.
“I have no regrets that I don’t have mansions all over the world or own a private jet,” he added.