Posted by politic on
Against the background of the trail blazing public declaration of assets by President Umar Yar’Adua, the Labour Party has told the Senate to demand public declaration of assets by the ministerial nominees, as a criterion for screening them.
The recommendation by Labour Party is contained in a letter of commendation to President Yar’Adua, signed by the party’s National Chairman, Barrister Dan Nwanyanwu.
In the letter, dated 29 June, the party acknowledged that Yar’Adua’s action in this direction is revolutionary because it is the first time in the history of Nigeria that a president, either an elected civilian or military dictator, would do so without prompting.
"That you were able to do this, even when there is no law in place prompting you to do so, is the more reason you deserve the commendation of all people of goodwill," said Nwanyanwu.
He added that "with this singular act of courage, honesty and patriotism, you are ready to wage a serious war against corruption."
He said that what the president has done is a clear departure from the trend in the past "when people turned the art of governance in Nigeria to a huge deception, when anti-corruption war became instrument for witch-hunting, perceived enemies and political opponents."
But the Labour Party leader reminded President Yar’Adua that he must not stop at just mere public declaration of his assets. "For this action of yours to have the desired impact, there must be the corresponding need for other office holders, whether elected or appointed, to do the same," he said, adding that "this anti-corruption posture will definitely yield no fruits if you do not compel other office holders to follow suit."
He advised the president to work in league with the National Assembly to ensure that the relevant portion of the constitution is amended to reflect his new thinking in this direction.
He said that public declaration of assets by would-be public office seekers should form part of the criteria for screening ministerial nominees.
"We are, therefore, recommending that this should form part of the criteria for screening ministerial nominees. Nobody should be considered fit to hold public office in Nigeria, if he or she is not prepared to let Nigerians know his or her personal worth," Nwanyanwu insisted.
He said that the same thing should be done at the state and local government levels. "By so doing, we would have put behind us, our ugly past when people enter into government as paupers only to leave as multi-billionaires after a few years," he said.
He added that Labour Party will, from henceforth, start treating as public enemies number one, public office holders, who fail to declare their assets publicly.