Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on Thursday called for life imprisonment for any public office holder convicted for stealing state money.
He also advised workers in the state to prepare for tough days as the state faces a bleak financial future.
Mr. Amosun made this known while addressing a campaign for good governance organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in conjunction with the Trade Union Congress, TUC, and other civil society groups.
The campaigners, led by Akeem Ambali and Olubunmi Fajobi, respectively, had earlier taken the rally round major streets of Abeokuta before arriving at the governor’s office at Oke-Mosan in the town.
Gov. Amosun said since political office holders were not compelled to rule, as they begged the electorate to serve, there was no basis for them to defraud the people.
“Corruption is killing us, and we have to rise up to kill corruption. If I have my way any leader caught stealing should be shot, but as governor I should not be seen saying this, I can’t call for killing, but I want to say and declare that anybody found wanting for corruption should be jailed for life. They should also be stigmatized,” he said.
The governor called on all Nigerians support President Muhammed Buhari in his efforts to fight corruption.
He said the campaign against corruption should not be limited to politicians, saying civil servants should as well not seen engaged in corruption.
The governor also welcomed the introduction of single treasury account, saying he had earlier closed over 200 accounts operated by the previous administration of Ogun.
Mr. Amosun said any government that fails to pay workers salary should be regarded as a failed government.
On the financial status of the state, the governor said he would try his best to ensure it does not affect the people much.
Earlier, the NLC and TUC denounced the practice of some governors failing to pay their workers, saying many of such governors used the money to campaign for re-election.
“Corruption has created a very bad image for the country and its citizens, as Nigerians are viewed as corrupt and dubious people outside. Corruption prevents the provision of basic social amenities for the citizenry. The money meant for development are viewed as corrupt and dubious people outside,” they noted.