Peter Obi Advocates for Corruption-Free Nigeria through Leadership Integrity
In a powerful address at the 10th-anniversary memorial celebration organized by The Chinua Achebe Foundation, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, passionately urged Nigerian leaders to aspire to build a nation founded on competence and commitment in the relentless battle against corruption.
Obi’s speech resonated with attendees as he stressed the paramount importance of leaders in Africa’s largest economy adhering to the rule of law and demonstrating unwavering integrity.
The former Anambra governor boldly articulated his belief that Nigeria could effectively combat corruption, provided that those in positions of power, along with their families, abstain from misappropriating public funds. He emphatically stated, “People say that fighting corruption is not easy, but it is very easy. If you are in charge and you are not stealing, your wife is not stealing; your children are not stealing. Also, those working with you will not have any reason to steal, and you must have reduced corruption by over 50 per cent.
Obi’s narrative was further enriched by recounting his experiences as governor, during which he transformed a state that ranked 27th out of 36 states in education. His approach involved entrusting schools to missions and generously investing funds into the education sector. This strategic move bore fruit, propelling the state from its previous position to first place, where it remained throughout his tenure.
He passionately asserted, “We can start thinking of a new Nigeria with competence and capacity that is committed to fighting corruption. Is it possible to fight corruption? The answer is yes! The trouble with Nigeria is self-inflicted. If Achebe were alive, he would have taken back the book. When he wrote it, there was no trouble. Now, there is real trouble in Nigeria. Rascality has become a measure of success in Nigeria. That must change.”
Obi expressed his alignment with the late Chinua Achebe’s perspective that Nigeria’s challenges are essentially leadership-induced. He lamented the nation’s deteriorating state, juxtaposing it with Achebe’s vision of positive change from four decades ago. He believed that Achebe would be deeply disheartened by the country’s current condition.
The crux of Obi’s message was the unwillingness of Nigerian leaders to exemplify the values of true leadership through personal conduct and responsibility. He underscored that integrity is the linchpin of authentic leadership.
As Nigeria grapples with the ongoing battle against corruption and strives for a brighter future, Peter Obi’s impassioned call for leadership integrity serves as a potent reminder of the transformational power of ethical governance in shaping the destiny of a nation.