Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Professor Itse Sagay has underscored the fact that corruption remains a major problem, saying it was still largely pervasive in the country.
Sagay traced the history of Nigeria from January 15, 1966 when some young military officers carried out a coup d’état during which the Prime Minister, Premier of Northern Nigeria, Premier of Western Region, Minister of Finance and several senior military officers were killed.
Represented by a member of PACAC, Professor Etannibi Alemika, he stated this yesterday at a conference organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Jos, Plateau State, saying the justification for the killings was that corruption would be eliminated in 1966.
He added that in 1975 General Murtala Mohammed staged another coup, which led to the removal of General Yakubu Gowon after allegation of widespread corruption in the country.
Sagay pointed out that the coup that brought in General Muhammadu Buhari in 1985 was also based on corruption, adding that 20 months after, General Ibrahim Babangida toppled the government, also citing corruption.
He said the same applied to the Gideon Okah coup, stressing that since independence, every government had identified graft as a major obstacle.
The PACAC boss lamented almost 60 years after the country’s independence, corruption remains a major problem and an obstacle to peace, unity and development of the country.
Speaking, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, who declared the conference open described the theme, “Value Re-Orientation and the Fight Against Corruption, as not only apt, but also commendable.
Director General of NOA, who was represented by its Plateau State Director, Bulus Dabit, commended the committee for finding the agency a partner in the fight against corruption.