Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has rated the negative effect of corruption on the people of Kogi and Nigeria worse than the pains of apartheid on South Africans.
The governor, who spoke during the inauguration of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the activities of the past governments, said corruption has killed more people in Nigeria than genocide in Rwanda some years ago.
According to him: “We want to reverse corruption as a trend in this administration. There must, therefore, be accountability. A genuine effort at reconciliation through justice is the only route to healing for wounded societies.
“Anyone who takes a look at those two countries today will realise that by taking account of all parties, they took charge of their individual and national lives again, so that both victim and perpetrators today live together in one prosperous and progressive society.”
With the inauguration of the eight-member commission, Bello may have commenced the processes of probing the past administrations in the state from 2003 till date, when Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada governed the state.
The governor said it became necessary to look into the activities of the past administrations with a view to recovering the funds belonging to the state that found their way into private pockets.
He stated that the decision to embark on the probe was not to witch-hunt anybody that served in the past administrations, but to ensure that the state starts on a new note.
Government, he disclosed, had also mandated the commission to recommend measures that would prevent stealing of public funds, adding that his administration was ready to put Kogi on the path of development and urged the people to assist the commission in the discharge of its assignment.
The commission, chaired by Justice Wada Rano, is expected to identify and collate a comprehensive and updated list of contracts awarded by the previous administrations between May 29, 2003 and January 27, this year.
It is also to determine whether the contracts awarded by the state government within the period to individuals or corporate organisations were in accordance with due process, and/or were executed in accordance with contract terms.