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The Heart of the Matter

Dec 12, 2008, 4:06 AM

President Umaru Yar'udua of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has proposed for the immunity clause to be expunged from the country's constitution. The aim is to strip top government officials of all immunity if they are to stand trial for corruption. The Nigerian leader probably reasons that if top government officials know they can be hauled before the law without any immunity, they will think twice before doing what they should not do. This could serve as an antidote to corruption in high places.

It is clear that President Ya'udua is now coming into his own as the leader of the most populous black nation on earth. When he came to power last year, it was thought that he did not have what it takes to govern Nigeria. But he is beginning to prove sceptics and detractors wrong. He recently sent almost half of his cabinet packing and replaced them with people he felt he could work with. He might have been sending a signal to some quarters that he is in control, even though he takes his time to get things done. It is for this reason that Nigerians have nicknamed him Baba Go-Slow. But Nigerians are beginning to realize that his slow and steady formula is yielding dividends.

Those who have been wallowing in corrupt practices are scared stiff of when President Yar'udua will catch up with them. It looks as if he has done his homework well. That is why he is proposing the constitutional amendment so that he can take to court those who might have been suspected of stealing Nigeria blind. Hard times await corrupt Nigerian government officials.

President Yar'udua has to give bite to his anti-corruption crusade so that Nigeria could be in good shape in every way. There is no doubt that corruption is the bane of that country. With all the wealth that is generated in that country, Nigeria should have been a first world country if corruption is reduced to its barest minimum. In waging war on corruption, the Yar'udua government is cutting right into the heart of the matter.

We hail the Yar'udua move because if Nigeria gets it right, the rest of the continent will sooner or later be on the path of progress and prosperity.

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