SERVING and former public office holders in the country will now be required to account for their wealth, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo declared yesterday in Lagos in what appears to be a fresh strategy to fight corruption.
The era is gone when people would become millionaires and billionaires overnight without anyone asking questions, Osinbajo said at a town hall meeting convened by the United Action for Change (UAC) in Lagos.
“Anybody who can’t explain his wealth must be brought to account. Everyone who has served in public office must account for what they own,” he said.
“This is the change we want Nigerians to support.”
The VP who fielded questions from individuals and representatives of labour and professional organizations said the change agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is irrevocable, regardless of the difficulties being experienced by the citizenry.
The VP said that the policies of the government are not tainted by any hidden agenda and that at the end of their tenure, President MuhammaduBuhari and himself would be willing to present their bank account details and assets to convince Nigerians they did not abuse their positions to get richer.
The change agenda, he insisted, was not a mere campaign slogan, but a recognition that the country must not continue to be run the way it had been ran in the past, if it wants to move forward.
His words: “There is no question about it: the country cannot survive going the direction it was going. You should never lose hope, we have the best opportunity to change the country now.
“Today, we have a leader who is honest; this country cannot change unless you have a honest leader who is concerned about the wellbeing of Nigerians.”
Osinbajo stressed that there is no way one can change a country that has been embroiled in corruption without the citizenry going through some difficulties.
“It is difficult; there are many problems that we have not been able to solve, but we are continually looking for solutions. I know that Nigerians are going through some difficult problems, but these are birth pains and the end of the story is going to be one of prosperity.”
On fuel scarcity, he said the government is trying to work out a final solution to the problem and that the current scarcity arose because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been solely responsible for the importation of fuel.
On the Nigerian dream, Osinbajo said: “We want to see change in our economy, we want our economy to be self-reliant and we want to see an end to corruption.”
During the interaction with professional groups and business owners, the Vice President also spoke on the dip in power supply in the last couple of weeks, vocational training and employment scheme for youths and vulnerable groups like the physically handicapped in society, the problem of piracy in the entertainment industry, empowerment of small and medium-scaled enterprises and some of the impact of the President’s recent trip to China.
UAC Covener and National Legal Adviser of the ruling APC, DrMuizBanire (SAN) in his opening remarks called for continuous support for the change Nigerians voted for at the 2015 general elections. He explained that the body was “conceived as a vehicle to engage and sensitize Nigerians on the philosophical and moral significance of change working through its major platform: Change Nigeria.”
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