Africa remains poor because of Nigeria, ex-Kenya anti-corruption chief says


The African continent has lagged behind in most facets of human development because its largest country, Nigeria, has remained in poverty due to fraudulent activities in public service, a leading anti-corruption campaigner said on Tuesday.

Patrick Lumumba, a former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, said Nigerian leaders must do everything within their capacity to address endemic graft. This, he said, would refocus Africa on the path towards prosperity.

“Africa is behind because Nigeria has not realized her potential. It’s time the leaders rise up because one in every five Africans is a Nigerian.”

Mr. Lumumba spoke at the two-day anti-corruption summit which began this Tuesday at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre in Abuja.

The program is put together by the National Assembly under the leadership of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Mr. Lumumba, during the keynote speech, said it is time for Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, to abandon the culture of “punishing small thieves and electing big ones.”

Mr. Lumumba, a professor of law, said Nigeria is a microcosm of Africa and, as such, cannot afford to keep getting it wrong.

“Behavioural change culture must be instilled in Nigeria,” Mr. Lumumba said.

He said Nigeria must put in place stringent mechanism that would effectively caution against corruption.

The three arms of government must strengthen and not undermine the institutions that are meant to fight corruption so that Nigeria can realise its potential, Mr. Lumumba said.

“People must be made to know that if you reap where you have not sown there are consequences. Men only change their behaviours when there is a threat pain.”

The don called for a wholesome support for President Muhammadu Buhari in his war against corruption, especially on the need to build lasting institutions.

“Institutions are the heart of the fight against corruption but he will not succeed if the legislature is not behind him and the institutions are not strengthened.

“Because only institutions defy time and outlive those that live on graft.

Mr. Saraki, in his opening remarks, said Nigeria had failed to seriously fight against corruption for more than 40 years. He said the National Assembly will work to partner with the Buhari administration for lasting solutions to the menace.


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  • Bayo Ola

    Professor Patrick Lumumba, you are a great, visionary and illustrious son of Africa. Sadly, the people that invited you to this occasion, Saraki and Dogara both epitomise corruption in Nigeria and beyond. It is an oxymoron that corrupt people like them are the one organising anti-corruption seminar. Strangely, they brought a good and incorruptible son of Africa, Patrick Lumumba, to legitimise a seminar that corrupt individuals organised to launder their image. Africa is truly a tragedy of comedy!

    • Ikenna Okwuchi

      A tragi-comedy of epic proportions.

    • Bruce Utin

      lt is very sad indeed! For shameless hypocrisy and barbaric cruelty, Saraki and Dogara reign in corruptions! Go where you may, travel where you will…when you have found the least corruption and abuse, lay your fact side by side and; you will agree with me here that, without a doubt, Saraki and Dogara reign without rivals in corruptions!

      • igboham

        See – you talk of personalities and not the institution. Waste of time.

    • MindYourself

      They presented the seminar to give the impression that they are tackling the menance too. All our writings here are not enough for them to condense into information that will drive them to abhor corruption. They couldn’t find any meaningful information in any, even when added together. They needed to be tongue lashed by a stranger. They will soon come out to say they now need a mechanism to deter corruption for them. The fact is that Collusion would always makes mess of any mechanism or institution against corruption. The only mechanism that could help deter corruption is BUHARI. They will condemn corruption in the open as if that is enough. Have you ever seen a corrupt government come out in the open to laud it? On the contrary, they always condemn it, publicly. Abacha never said corruption is good but was busy perpetuating it at the highest level one can imagine. This address would never stop them. They represent us, and this means they are true reflection of what we are . If not, how on earth will any person in his right sences give an iota of support to this set of corrupt elements?

      • Charles

        if we want change, then must appreciate the process of change when we see one, at least this is a step in the right direction.

      • Charles

        if we want change, then we must appreciate the process of change when we see one, at least this is a step in the right direction.

    • MindYourself

      If they are really remorse, let them drastically reduce their emoluments and withdraw their illegitimate earnings. Let them start supporting the truth: withdraw their tacit support of the corrupt judges. Ask them how much was spent on the seminar, and you will realise how much they are enmessed in the swimming of corruption. Only God Almighty that can remove them from this entanglement with corruption. They are already married to corruption: till death do them part, they seemed to have sworn. Anyone who dare venture to introduce separation between them , they will support themselves with the saying that “what god( the devil) has joined together nobody should put asunder.

    • igboham

      The man has no idea about the internal dynamics of Nigeria. Nigeria itself is in chains and he expect someone in chains to act with the chains? You are unable to restructure the society cause one group after another would not allow it – tell us how you can overcome that truth.

  • Iyanda

    Saraki fighting corruption. Iam I dreaming . how can someone bred by corruption and is struggling to even out do those who bred him fight corruption. pleas wake me up from my dream.
    Professor, please always do a background check on whoever invites you to speak.

    • St

      No need to judge him, his message was for those who wants to fight it and are ready to fight Saraki off when it calls for

    • Charles

      Do you under-estimate the power of GOD to change him?

      • Iyanda

        Not at all. To show us he has changed, he needs to return all he’s stolen.

        • Charles

          That is the next step, but first you must appreciate the first step.

  • kingbaabu

    Nobody pays more lip service to anti-corruption struggle than the rogues we have in the house of assembly

  • George

    Saraki is far better than Buhari who consistently lying for everything he assumed he has achieved in his miserable life.

    • deansmart

      Then your head need examine how can you comparing death and sleep

    • Afolabi

      U are sick bro. U need to be examined with this statement

  • Dominic Stella

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  • iwe paul

    Hahaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Saraki and Dogara organising an anti-corruption summit. There is GOD OOOOO!!!!!!

  • Ben Ikari

    Brother Charles and others similarly situated. Year after year and decade after decade this alleged God has eyes and ears, hands and heart, soul, legs but can’t do anything for Africa? I take serious issue when some leave important and sensitive concerns to speak about god, some claim it must be God with a big G without knowing if a man, woman, animal or mere spirit without soul or soul without spirit. They know whether a spirit without soul, or none of the above. Those who talk about God never ask or wonder where was he or she (God) when all these are happening before thinking of his or her power to change things or change human beings. Maybe they haven’t heard the term prevention is better than cure! If there is anywhere God would have changed and make things better for good, Africa is such place because Africans worship this God they don’t know or understand its true existence than the people of Europe who introduced a white male God after worshiping ancient African female Goddesses, which was (is) the highest female deity deified by a culture or people. The latter is the opposite of God, highest male deity deified by a culture or people. Sadly, Europeans lied about theirs and imposed it hence all they claim in the bible of him or her are mere emptiness. Those who claim to know God and worship him hence born again are the most scared and most poor, except some rich church pastors and pastresses who rejoice and grow on the money of the poor in the church and some rich who are seeking protection and more wealth that never trickle down to the least and struggling poor in the church. The criminals who rule Nigeria, other African nations and the world over also call on this God that can’t give them a heart that doesn’t lie or steal and kill to get into office and stay powerful while protecting special interest and rich individuals, groups and the corporations while majority of the people are crushed. The most irony is that, these pastors and pastresses, politicians and so-called leaders get to where they’re using all crooked means including lies about being called and that God put them in office because only he/she has power over society’s governance yet the bible says the devil is in charge of worldly governance and the God’s kingdom will come to take over. No such thing will happen. What we have, see in the world today is the human reality. Human wickedness and greed caused criminality and deadly, destructive behavior, action that we call the devil. Unfortunately, these same folks including the weak and disadvantage poor will claim/lie their blessings come from this God even after they struggle and sweat in light liquid and blood. Yes, many claim God did it even after they steal, kill and do other immoral things to get in office or secure an opportunity as though those who are still struggling and almost giving up aren’t loved and cared for by this God. Yes, God is a discriminator and racist who allowed whites to enslave Africans, colonize us, others and still exploiting the world, the resources in Africa, especially and are on top of everything while Africa which brought civilization and older than Europe is poor and looking to the west for help despite her wealth of resources and some human capacity? Yes, their God make some rich and healthy while allowing others to be poor and sick? Come on people, give me a break and stop the empty God rants…just check around you and see if your claim for this God matches reality. Meanwhile, until Africans return to brotherly and sisterly love, respecting lives and the people protect each other; until we wake up and stay focus then stop the stealing and killing, and stop hiding money in European banks and stashing it in American businesses, banks and in real-estate; until we stop waiting for a God that made Europe, America enslave and colonize us, still exploiting our wealth and acts like savior, the white male God they created, while we perish in the face of natural wealth, richness of the continent and human intellect; until Africans seek public office and power with a burden to invest in the people and change lives, bring sustainable development as their drive and practically deliver their promise. Until politicians, leaders are conscious of the importance of hard work, good positive governance that preach community participation and citizens wake up to hold politicians/leaders to account without feeling threats or leaders feeling insulted so find ways to intimidate, threat and possibly kill critics and opposition. Africa will stay behind, complaining and fighting, spilling blood and begging in the midst of plenty while the world moves on! We must change and live in reality instead of abstraction to wit expecting European-made male God to redeem us while we go to sleep; too bad, huh?

    • Charles

      My brother it seem you have difficulty in believing in the existence and omnipotent of the Almighty God? it seem the only problem I have with you is in the mention of that name ‘GOD’?, but what ever happens, God is still God.

      • bbounce

        Every God and gods that ever lived were all cooked up imagination to feel secure at a point in time when you feel helpless and weak. What you should know is Christianity and Islam are very young religion which copied the rules and laws of the gods that existed before including their bed time story. Why do you think Islam has name for every prophets mentioned in the bible ?
        Recently have been wondering about the population of Muslim been over 1 Billion people then I realized that in Islam it not compulsory to make donation to the mosque at any point in time. So since people can’t afford paying tithes and offering almost every week and sowing seeds with half your salary is why there are less Christian because people prefer to worship God without paying anyone which is right.

    • bob norberts

      First thing first, there must b capital punishment, public legislation on public office abusers, names published & must not b allowed to run for public office till such a time.
      All public office holders children & family must go to school in Nigeria, abolish overseas medical treatment.
      Capital punishment must b number one.
      The courts, Lawyers & Judges must b competent & transparent.
      Remove that CANCER immunity.

  • Usman inuwa

    Well speak, u have point out the real fact

  • igboham

    Nigeria is too busy suppressing her citizens and has no time left to love itself. Progress does not happen in a vacuum where peoples hate each other – release the people in peace and progress will spring up without effort. The colonial masters emasculated Africa and to blame it on Nigeria only is misguided. Nigeria is a victim that refuses outgrow the victimization.

  • Rommel

    What professor Lumumba said is same thing president Obama has been saying about Nigeria, he says if Nigerian gets it right,African will change but alas!!!,our politicians have other priorities and it is a product of the larger society where people worship money no matter how it is got, that behavior can only breed the types of politicians we have,Nigerians cannot plant orange and expect to harvest mangoes,what we are experiencing is what we have been planting all this while,if we stop this excessive inflated and unrealistic materialism where a luxurious apartment in Johannesburg which is the wealthiest city on the continent will cost 1/4 of a far less endowed apartment in Ikoyi can only mean one thing,there is so much unearned money flowing around in Nigeria.

  • Mufu Ola

    Dedicated corruption merchants hate to hear this kind of talk.Mr Tawanda, what’s ur take?

  • FuzzyLogic

    That is not the whole truth. The other part of the reason is that Northern Nigeria has refused to embrace Western education despite all efforts by people of goodwill.

    • bob norberts

      U r a hypocrite!

      • FuzzyLogic

        What am I a hypocrite of???

    • Victor Toks

      Nigerian problems is not the North.Nigerian problems lies on the South west,South East and South South.Why?Because of lack of understanding,unity,collaboration between the leaders from does Regions.Obasanjo and Jonathan should have used the opportunities given to them by fate to reconstruct and restructuring of our federalism government.They should have reduced the political power of the central government,change sensitive things in Nigerian constitution.But greedness,selfishness and tribalism finished them.See where we are Awolowo and Namidi Azkiwe and Akintola too.Nigerian have never grown-up to work together for common good of thousands of thousands of their people.Yourba leaders are self centre,Igbo are visionless .I just pity people who will come on social media sites and be abusing,insulting each other,calling their self bad names.We need to use social media to talk sense into our leaders dull brains.Can’t our leaders learn from America,British,French and Japanese leaders etc.Are under a curse!!!

  • Kñîghtš Tëmpłær

    We should hire this man as EFCC chairman…he did a good job in Kenya.

    • FEMI A USA

      We have such people in Nigeria but the corrupt persons will not allowed her/him to the position.

  • Du Covenant

    Thank you my broda for calling a spade, a spade!. Nigeria is a disgrace to the entire black race on this planet!.

    • bob norberts

      As much as I dont expect all to agree with me, I believe Nigeria would b better with a reformed military rule.
      The best leader Nigeria ever had was Gen Mutala Ramat Mohammed while d worst is Gen Olusegun Obasanjo

      • Du Covenant

        My broda, I agree with you because I know that not everything about the military is bad provided it is not in Nigeria. The military of other nations have tremendously helped in building infrastructure in their respective nations except Nigeria. In our military we had a Minister for Telecommunication haven said ‘Telephones were not meant for the poor’. The same person had been the Senate President since 1999. In a society with such narrow minded elite, what progress will any sane person expect?. Today mobile technology has allowed the poor to also use phones. If our successive governments had the sense to connect every household and villages in Nigeria rather than steal the money, Internet penetration in Nigeria would not have been such an impossible task because the phone lines would have very handy. Murtala Mohammed was the best thing that Nigeria never had and the worst in my opinion was that man called IBB. What has happened to NigComsat R?, what were we told it will do for Nigeria and entire African continent?. We now have a generation of Nigerians born into corruption and chaotic lifestyle and they think that is the normal way of life and are ever ready to be recruited to destroy the country even more. I have no hope for Nigeria if we do not change our attitude.

  • CEO

    Who are the corrupt, and what is Nigeria’s definition of corruption? Do we know any corrupt Nigerian? If we do, then the ones fighting corruption definitely know more than anyone else. If the ones fighting corruption know the corrupt, and are doing nothing about them other than using imported propaganda and media advertisement, then we need to forget about this rhetoric called corruption fighting altogether. “Charity begins at home.” It is sad to hear about bribery and corruption amongst the ones charged with investigating others accused of same. To the extent that some of these so called investigators are nothing but a laughingstock stock, not only to Nigerians who are aware of their underhand dealings, but also to the outside world. It is also sad that the ones fighting corruption can say, we know XYZ are corrupt, and have looted the country dry. But we can’t go after them because of their extensive network and connections in the country and especially the military. So for that reason they are allowed to walk free while others, whose act of graft pale in comparison to theirs are abused and dehumanized. There is everything wrong with fighting corruption with two sets of rules, one for the protected, and the other for the unprotected. It amounts to blatant insult on the citizens intelligence when clear evidence of corrupt practices and mindless violations of our laws are dismissed with a wave of the hand, with no considerations whatsoever, let alone the courtesy of an investigation process simply for the sake of godfather’s protection. It appears that more of lip service and less of substance is in the forefront of all this. And according to the late Chinua Achebe, the problem with Nigeria is with her leadership. When the leadership gets it right, then the progress begins. I want Buhari to succeed, but Buhari should also demonstrate his determination to succeed in concrete terms.

    • bob norberts

      Well said Sir, let there b a level playing ground.
      Charity, they say starts at home, if so, Dogara & Saraki must lead by example. Step down

    • Koko boy

      God bless you, you echoed my thoughts here. well articulated.