AS the African continent celebrates this year’s Anti-Corruption Day, President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented that the massive corruption perpetrated in governments has left a huge deficit on governance
Buhari, the African Union Anti-Corruption Champion, noted that the impact of corruption had further created negative consequences that have worsened the socioeconomic and political situation in Africa.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari made the appeal in a letter to South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Chairman of African Union (AU).
In the letter, Buhari asked for a re-commitment by leaders to the anti-corruption war on the continent to engender an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.”
President Buhari noted in the letter that, “the continental fight against corruption has been premised on an irreducible minimum that can pave the way for Africa’s transformation.
“In this effort, the emphasis has been on the continent’s collective determination to forge resilient partnerships among our national governments, civil society organisations and other interest groups, such as women, youth and the physically challenged, to ensure improved socio-economic, political and security development and ultimately, the improvement of our continent.
“The concern of the African Union is that the massive corruption being perpetuated across our national governments, has created a huge governance deficit that has in turn created negative consequences that have worsened the socio-economic and political situation in Africa.”
He noted that these continental concerns led many our heads of states at the African Union, to appoint him as the African Union Anti-Corruption Champion.
He continued: “I believe that the efforts and focus of the Nigerian Government at home, partly informed this decision as well as the need for Africa, as a continent, to recommit herself to the fight against corruption and the imperative to free resources for meaningful development.
“I am, therefore, in full support of the call for the issuance of a continental message to commemorate this day, on July 11, 2020, to re-commit the African Union to the continental fight against corruption, including through a robust approach to assets recovery, hence the need for a strategic framework on a Common African Position on Assets Recovery (CAPAR).”
With the adoption of CAPAR in February 2020, at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU in Addis Ababa, Buhari asserted that “the African Union must go beyond the mere annual celebration of the Africa Anti-Corruption Day by moving swiftly to operationalise the African Common Position on Assets Recovery by all member states.
“This is an excellent way to drive Africa’s Agenda 2063, for an ‘integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.’ “
He commended the AU chairman and hoped that his suggestions will be a call to “leaders in Africa to recommit ourselves to this very important task of reclaiming our continent from the vice of systemic corruption.”