The Action Congress of Nigeria has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to apologise to Nigerians for misleading them on the alleged positive rating given to the country by the global anti-corruption body, Transparency International.
In a statement by the ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, the party said the President should tender the apology, especially as TI had denied issuing such a report.
It said, “Transparency International has denied claims by President Jonathan in his 52nd independence anniversary speech on Monday, that the global body has rated Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption.”
ACN said its demand for an apology from the President came after it saw a copy of TI’s response to inquiries on the President’s claim, which reads thus, “Transparency International does not have a recent rating or report that places Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption.
“In the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived levels of public sector corruption, Nigeria scored 2.4 on a scale where 0 means highly corrupt and 10 means very clean. It was ranked 143 out of 183 countries.”
The party expressed its shock that the President could make such a “frivolous claim” on an issue of global concern as corruption.
It said in addition to apologising to Nigerians, “the President should immediately start an investigation into the source of the claim that has exposed his administration and the country to global ridicule.”
ACN said the claim by the President, who was trying to showcase the “achievements” of his administration in the fight against corruption, raised doubts about the authenticity of other claims by the President in the anniversary speech.
Meanwhile, former Edo State Deputy Governor, Rev. Peter Obadan, said he doubted Jonathan’s appreciation of the magnitude of corruption in the country.
Speaking with our correspondent on Tuesday, Obadan said the President was not given enough information on corruption in the country by the relevant authorities.
He said, “The President is limited as far as information flow and security report is concerned, and can only react with the information at his disposal. Candidly, we need to go back to the basics, as far as corruption is concerned.
“With all humility, I respect Mr. President, who has spoken from information made available by his lieutenants, who themselves need to be checked. From what I was told by my mother, it is very difficult for a thief to appreciate he is one.”