The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, William Stuart Symington, has identified lack of access to justice as the “great corruption” that is worse than stealing of public funds.
He made this known on Monday as a guest at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, where he delivered the convocation lecture titled, “Citizen Leadership and the Link between Economic Diversity and Democratic Good Governance”.
Symington noted that many people regard stealing of public funds as the great corruption whereas deprivation of justice is worse.
He said, “What many consider as the great corruption is stealing of money but what to me is the great corruption is when people are deprived justice, when you do things without regard to the rule of law.”
Meanwhile, the ambassador has tasked Nigerians to support security agencies to better protect the country.
He stressed that there was nowhere in the world where security agencies protected the community without the support of the citizenry.
Symington stated, “One of the most important things that I want you to leave today with is the idea that good governance can only come from Strong independent citizens,” he said.
“So, I think the right answer is there is no person who can make Nigeria more secure.
“There was that time in Nigeria when security was not the job of only the soldier and the police, but every village chief and every person who lived in the town was involved.
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“There is no police force in the whole world that keep the neighbourhood safe all by itself. If you have such a police force, I would not want to live in that neighbourhood. Every security in the world derives from the support of the people in the place that is insecure.
“If you will have the tenacity to change Nigeria, look around you right now and change the life of one person today.”