Too much corruption in Africa —Prof. Adeyeye

Professor Olusola Adeyeye (2)

Professor Olusola Adeyeye (2)

The Majority Chief Whip of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Olusola Adeyeye has bemoaned the continuous institutionalisation of corruption in the governance structure of most African countries.

According to him, it was sad that governance in much of Africa has been turned into a “corruptocracy” a situation he explained as “a government of the corrupt, by the corrupt and for the corrupt.

“Across the world, access to the corridor of political power does pave way for private opportunities and advantages. This is so in the liberal capitalist democracies as well as in highly regimented socialist countries. What is amiss in so many African Countries is that such access to power becomes the dominant means or, the worst cases, the sole means by which government business is transacted,” he emphasised.

Professor Adeyeye disclosed this at the 30th Anniversary Lecture of the late William Ofori Atta also known as Paa Willie, organised by the William Ofori Atta Heritage in Accra yesterday.

The lecture is organised annually to commemorate and celebrate the works and achievement of William Ofori Atta, a stalwart in Ghanaian politics and a member of the Big Six.

Speaking on the Topic: “Cardinal Imperatives for a New Africa”, Prof. Adeyeye said the abuse of opportunities and advantages presented by the corridor of power breeds a situation where square pegs are placed in round holes and vice versa.

“As cronyism, nepotism and tribalism get elevated, merit is dethroned with an attendant loss of confidence in the government,” he stressed.

He noted that it was impossible for the leader of any country to motivate and mobilise the general citizenry whose trust they have lost as a result of abuses by political power holders.

“On the contrary, such disenchanted citizenry employ pernicious and diabolical means in the pursuit of personal wealth all to the detriment of societal wellbeing. African countries must slay the dragon of corruption or it shall continue to incapacitate or slay us,” he added.

Touching on leadership on the continent, he said the time had come for Africa to elect leaders who are not only upright but also visionary, stressing that visionary dreams transcend mere wishful thinking.”

He said dreams were the passionate burdens that propel leaders and by and large, the history of nations is the account of the actualised and failed dreams of their leaders.

“The dreams that leaders have at night, guide like a compass, their daily toils. Big dreams, beautiful and noble are the stuffs that heroes are made. While some dream small, or not at all, heroes dream big and bigger still till they print their names in history with ink of gold,” he emphasised.

Prof. Adeyeye who is also the founder of the Nigerian Freedom Foundation said African Citizens must be educated on the history of human civilisation and technological advancement, civic and social studies.

This according to him was to inculcate rational criteria in the discharge of civic responsibilities and enable them shun the election of political leadership based on ethnicity or religion.

“Ethnicity is conferred by the ragtag lottery of the accident of birth, while religion ought to be primarily a matter of private convictions and preferences. Political leadership on the other hand, should be chosen primarily for the ability to judiciously husband a country’s resources to meet its needs,” he explained.

By Cliff Ekuful

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