*Fighting Corruption is Dangerous*
In Nigeria, bureaucracy enables corruption and any attempt to remove the layers of bureaucracy supporting corruption becomes dangerous. Those who have tried to become reformers in Nigeria end up having their names soiled and reputation destroyed.
There’s this unholy alliance between the endemic corrupt system and the media. Mercantile journalism survive on the patronage of corrupt system. This is why, once a reformer begins to initiate reforms to improve transparency and accountability, articles appear from shady Journalists and entrepreneurial activists, utilizing subterfuge to keep the old system active. We are now wiser; we know the voice of Esau and the hand of Jacob. The idea is to harangue the reformer till he foregoes reforming the system and bow to them.
When HE, Hope Uzodinma was sworn in, understanding that a corrupt system will not permit productivity, he sought to clean it. Cleaning the civil service of ghost workers and leaches who suck the Imo treasury sick. For instance, there are 56,000 civil servants in Imo state (both state and LGA) astonishingly only 17, 000 of them are captured in Pay as you Earn(PAYE) an income tax which is mandatory and deducted from source. In reality, all the 56,000 workers ought to reflect on the PAYE. Also, for the past 10 years the nominal roll of pensioners stood at 30,000 – meaning no one has died and no new retiree has come into the system in 10 years. Clearly, these numbers are front loaded by crooks, who are feeding fat on the general pot of the Imo people.
HE, Hope Uzodinma, for the interest of Ndi Imo, for the sake of our children will have none of this. As a reformer, he is insisting this old system must crumble so that Imo can be free. He has Insisted that every workers’ salary account number be linked to their BVN. The policy is; no BVN, no pay. With the sole intention of ensuring that no ghost is paid in Imo state. Rather than submit their BVN, the old system is manipulating workers, stopping them from submitting their BVN in a bid to make the situation chaotic and utilize public outcry to force the Governor to soft pedal.
They have bought the press and are inserting frivolous stories into every media organization to disparage the Governor. They have gone to the West and have recruited notorious entrepreneurial activists at huge cost. They have bought all rogue newspapers to throw invectives at His Excellency. No way! The HE, Hope Uzodimma will not succumb. This fight, for the collective interest of the Imo people must succeed.
The sanitization of the Imo civil service must hold and workers who are exercising patience at this trying period will be the biggest beneficiaries. Funds saved from this exercise will be channeled to revamping the decaying infrastructure in the state and improving worker’s welfare.
Hold on, the fruit will be on your table soon
Nb: Title was taken from a book authored by Ngozi Okonji Iweala