Corruption Has Drained Our National Strength – Fashola

Babatunde-Fashola04032011Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State on Thursday lamented huge sums of money lost to corruption, saying the trend has drained the country.

Fashola spoke yesterday when chieftains and national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the six geo-political zones converged on Abuja for the party’s inaugural national summit, where a ‘Roadmap To A New Nigeria’ was unveiled.

According to him, “Let there be no doubt about the link between corruption and job creation. If we had a government that is serious about fighting corruption, there would be financial resources to create jobs. Instead of stopping this corruption, this government pardons those convicted of corruption and removes those who point out corruption. Corruption has drained our national strength and we need change”.

Fashola said, “Corruption must no longer be tolerated in any corner of the nation; not in political life and not in business or civic affairs”.

He added that the future that is envisioned by the party is one that will be built together by everyone and not just for one political party, not for one region, not for one community but for all Nigerians.

The Lagos governor, who described the event as a historic one, added that it is about building a future for Nigeria – where there are jobs for as many that want to work; a future without leaders who deprive the very families they are supposed to protect and a future of peace and stability.

“It is about a future when Nigeria can feed its families; a future when a Nigerian education is as good as any education in the world and a future when the high prices of food and fuel don’t undermine every family’s quality of life”, he said.

He described the opposition party as a home for all Nigerians, stressing that it is already happening with the turnout for membership registration exceeding even the largest projections.

“It was a turnout of Nigerians who shared a belief that together we can build a New Nigeria. It was a turnout of people who have had enough of division in our country. People tired of the politicians who turn one group against another for their own political gain. We’ve all seen it. We all know how it works. We all know how demeaning it is to our nation.

“When one takes a look around our country, Governor Fashola added, the question to ask is what has division brought to the nation? Has it brought peace or brought prosperity? Or the future that people want for their families and children, but it has not, reiterating that the only recipe is for Nigerians to come together, work together and live in peace together and choose unity.

“And today, we declare that, we make it clear to the nation that the APC chooses Unity, this room is a living testament to that choice and that commitment, this room is a celebration of the cultural diversity that gives our nation such great promise”, he stressed.

The governor added that APC believes the nation must be economically and socially vibrant, peaceful, just and secure.