The Speaker of the Kwara state House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad on Thursday called for strengthening of the Independent Corruption Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) if truly Nigeria wants to fight corruption.
Ahmad said this in Ilorin at the 10th Justice M.M.A Akanbi Faculty of Law, University of Iorin annual lecture where he added that restructuring means so many different things to different people.
"EFCC from inception is the worst thing that will ever happen to us in this country. We are just fooling ourselves that we are fighting corruption but we are not fighting corruption. EFCC is just redefining corruption to means pursuit of opposition members.
"So the fist is not against corruption but pursuit of opposition. EFCC cannot fight corruption, EFCC can never fight corruption; ICPC is better suited to fight corruption because it follows the rule. Federal government should empower ICPC, because it follows the rule because it is attacking the process and procedure.
"Politicians are less than a thousand and that is what ICPC is following but bureaucracy is over a million. You can see 90% of houses in Abuja belong to the Directors, not politicians. So we are just fooling ourselves for saying that we are fighting corruption. It’s good, it’s popular, but I think if any government wants to fight corruption, the ICPC should be strengthened to strengthen our processes and procedure and not just for suing people," he said.
On restructuring, Ahmad said if it means alleviating poverty, good governance, he is in support adding that if restructuring is creating more states, he is against it.
"I support devolution of power to state but if it means more local government, more bureaucracy, it doesn’t take us to anywhere. I don’t believe in going back and forth, we practice the premiership before, we said it wasn’t good. Now it’s presidential, we are also saying that it is not good. The Jonathan’s conference has suggested a little merger that might be perfect. But the problem is not the system, it is us Nigerians," Ahmad said.
The guest speaker at the occasion and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali, while speaking on the theme: “To restructure or not to restructure, the new swan song of the Nigerian elites,” said it is high time to unbundled the over concentration of powers at the centre to give room for development at both the states and local government levels.
"I believe the best way the agitation should be addressed is through the instrumentality of constitutional amendment by National and state houses of Assembly," Ali said.