Uncle JD on the Front Page News review programme on Classic FM really pleasantly surprised me. He said the war against corruption needs to be fought by putting systems in place to PREVENT it rather than catch people after the fact.
That wasn't the surprise. The surprise is that he acknowledged that was what Jonathan was trying to say in an allusion to separating goats from yam. Eh hen! There is hope.
He made this statement whist reacting to the call by the EFCC Chairman for stiffer penalties for those convicted for money laundering as the law provides for only 7 years imprisonment. It really is not much of a disincentive considering the crazy amounts usually involved.
Magu made this statement as he served notice that the war against corruption was going into an offensive against banks and bankers.
This issue is of importance to me because public analysts or commentators can actually help shape people's opinion.
It is my long held common sense belief that it is a more profitable use of time to prevent thieves stealing your property than trying to run after them to catch them.
They most likely can run faster than you and scale walls as they seem to possess super human strength as they seek to escape jungle Justice or Justice.
No country can root out corruption but we can make it less pervasive by focussing on how to prevent it through systems, processes and technologies as well as put strong punitive measures in place with a process that makes it difficult to delay or deny Justice.
It is by a deliberate and concerted effort that we really can tame the corruption monster. Our fight against corruption must be institutional and we must not equate bringing some corrupt people to jail as the benchmark for an effective fight.
It is part of it but as Uncle JD acknowledged this morning, it is more important to separate the goats from the yam.
That is native wisdom at its best. It may seem strange to city folks but common knowledge in rural areas. You simply don't rear goats around farmlands.
Let us put systems and processes in place that prevent people from putting their grubby hands in the common till.