The Whistle Blowing Program that has been on the headline has attracted plausible and laudable commendation, and at the same time, brought about some questions among most Nigerians. Nigeria is a country blessed with lots of resources ranging from artificial to Natural and even human resources.
Even before the whistle blowing program commenced, people tend to ponder why Nigeria, despite her wealth of resources, has so many dying of starvation, people living in abject poverty, lots of unemployed youths, substandard roads and health facilities.
President Buhari’s whistle blowing programme has broadened the scope of fighting corruption by encouraging the citizens to expose corrupt practices and receive a reward when the report is genuine and fund recovered. Besides, the Presidency has also agreed to establish a kind of plea bargain, whereby corrupt persons secretly return ill gotten funds and assets. With the kind of treasury the presidency inherited, and the receding economy, this program seems to be a way out. Sadly, this secret arrangement is already casting shadows over the new policy and raising eyebrows on the face of Nigerians. It’s quite confusing.
Tackling corruption in Nigeria, wouldn’t really be a very easy task, Why? Because the ringleaders are somehow associated with the Leaders in power and they are not so free form the act. Therefore, it would be very difficult to “fight power with power” but, it is a course worth the trial.
If you go through the dos and don’ts of a whistle blower, you will read something of this nature: a whistle-blower is required to “provide specific and fact based information such as what occurred, amount involved, who was involved and dates of occurrence.”
The whistle-blower “must have provided the government with information it does not already have and could not otherwise obtain from any other publicly available source to the government” It adds that false or misleading information “will be referred to the enforcement agents for investigation and possible prosecution.”
I would start by saying that if you want to participate in the Whistle Blowing Program, the following should be considered as afterthoughts:
First, it would create room for only genuine information and reduce or even eradicate the abuse of this program but on the other hand, it sounds quite scary, What if a whistle blower has a genuine information and informs the government, somehow, the culprit finds out about the activities of the whistle blower and makes the evidence disappear? Everything is possible!
Secondly, since it’s more or less a highly classified program that lacks transparency, how would the whistle blower be assured that he would get his reward afterwards in peace.
Furthermore, how does a whistle blower know the information that the government already has? Again, What if, after providing a substantial report, it gets dismissed owing to the fact that the government already has the information provided?
Moreover, what are the chances that people who have substantial information and evidence won’t blackmail or threaten the culprits for a better percentage of the country’s stolen properties (which means corruption gives birth to more corruption)?
And finally, would this secret pattern not encourage more looting, and afterwards, carefully bring back an appealing portion for the Government? With this the government would pronouncements and most probably pay deaf ears to wrongdoings.
All these questions might come to an end, only if the presidency starts exposing the details of all the rich men who looted the county, Nigeria. If the war against corruption must be won, it has to come from those in authority and the citizens. Hence the citizens have the right to be informed of all the actions taking place in the whole process.
I also visited the portal; it was awesomely designed but, there should be a window for cases under review so as to help whistleblowers not repeat information that the government already has. With this, the whistle- blower know the direction to focus, There might be a strong opposing view that exposing the cases of alleged looters will jeopardize the investigation. The names would rather be posted only when the alleged looters are in the custody of the EFCC, and investigations ongoing. Also, this applies with those involved in the plea bargain. There should be some level of transparency if we must record excellence in this effort to eradicate corruption in our country.
In my own opinion, whistle blowing could also serve as an opportunity to reduce the level of unemployment in the country. By the way, most of these alleged looters build castles in remote places, drive exorbitant cars, and continually show off their affluence with their private jets. If thousands of youths are properly trained for the field work, it would give whistle blowers the courage to keep reporting issues knowing full well that it would be fully acted upon.
In general, this program is a very commendable one, and will keep becoming better. However, once the citizens are been kept abreast with some of the issues being handled, then it would be very possible to ward of corruption in the Nigeria. Nigeria still believes and will definitely eradicate corruption.
Also Read : Things you need to know about the WhistleBlower
Please feel free to drop your comment on what you feel about this programme.
Make sure to come back for more updates on such discussions.