Throwing people in jail will not curb corruption, Jonathan is right – Mike Ejiofor

By Ayoola Mudasiru March 19, 2015 19:01

Throwing people in jail will not curb corruption, Jonathan is right – Mike Ejiofor

A former Director of the State Security Service, SSS, Mike Ejiofor, has stated that President Goodluck Jonathan’s approach to tackling corruption is laudable.

He explained that what Nigeria needs is strong institutions rather than strong individuals and that President Jonathan was working relentlessly to build strong institutions.

Ejiofor gave his stance during an exclusive interview with Post Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

“I very much subscribe to the view of Mr. President. If we recall, President Obama once said “We should build strong institutions instead of strong individuals,

“What we used to have in this country were strong individuals with weak institutions and why, because of the military government. This continued even under Obasanjo’s administration because he was a military man, which President Jonathan is not; he is not a military man even though he is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, he is a pure democrat guided by the rule of law,

“What the Government should do is to build strong institutions” he said.

Ejiofor, who is also the CEO of Apex Safety & Security Consultants Ltd, pointed out that throwing everybody in jail for various minor offences will not stop others from committing the same crime, citing an example of when the military used to sentence armed robbers to firing squads.

“You cannot throw everybody in prison, because the more we jail people, the more people will commit the same offence,

“Remember that during the military regime, firing squads were introduced as a measure to curb armed robbery but did it stop armed robbery,” he stated.

The former Director of SSS explained that people were not appreciative of Jonathan’s efforts at tackling corruption because he was not following one of his predecessor misguided strategy of unleashing anti-graft agencies on political opponents.

“EFCC for instance was established to fight corruption but deviated from its established function when the former President (Olusegun Obasanjo) started using it against his opponents; since Jonathan came in it has not been so,” he said.

Ejiofor admitted that Nigeria’s greatest challenge under Jonathan has been insecurity, not corruption, but reiterated that the current administration was gradually fighting corruption by building strong institutions to tackle corruption.

“The greatest challenge government is facing from the opposition is security. This government is focused on insecurity but it’s gradually fighting corruption by building institutions to reduce corruption,

“People tend to have their views, but I believe for the stability of this country President Jonathan should be given another opportunity to complete his term.”

He highlighted some achievements of the Government in the efforts to tackle corruption.

“Look at the issue of fertilizer, previously we had middlemen who were making money from the supply, but now we have direct supplies to end users and by so doing, the President has cut off that chain of corruption,

“Also, thousands of ghost workers have been flushed out,

“The most important thing is that the Government should block all loopholes through which people can steal money,

“The ones that have infringed the law and have been found guilty of doing so should be persecuted, and I think that is what the Government is doing,” he said.