An Umuaka born legal practitioner and political activist Mr Okey Mba has picked holes in the assets declaration Act Nigerian politicians undergo while seeking elective offices and calls for an immediate amendment. Mr Mba made this point in a press statement he issued last week to pressmen in Owerri including Umuaka Times. While hailing the Section 3 and other foregoing sections of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act 2004 which stipulate that public office seekers should declare their assets, he picked holes in the act for its failure to advance the cause further.
Following the press statement by Mr Mba, the act failed to include that upon the submissions of their assets documents to the government, public office seekers should as well release their bio data from where and when they were born, schools attended and businesses done over the years before seeking elective positions or appointments.
Mba also wondered why those who seek jobs both at private and public sectors are required to submit their Curriculum Vitae while applying for such offices but those who seek to rule the people are not included to submit such vital details about their persons. In the press statement, Mba wrote;
“I am advocating that anyone vying for any public office in Nigeria through election should compile his or her personal life history from primary school up until the point when he or she is vying for office and make same available to the public on the simple premise that vying for public office is akin to seeking public employment.”
While making a submission of his well articulated points, the attorney also regretted that the assets declaration forms Nigerian politicians submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau are hardly available to the general public for them to glance through.
The attorney employed Nigerian government to endeavour to emulate the western political culture where “those who come out to run for public offices submit their life bios to the electoral bodies with citizens free to access such information through the freedom of information laws”.
In his conclusion, Mba noted that his advocacy if implemented, “will also deter those with questionable pasts despite their wealth from putting themselves forward for public offices as their dirty secrets will be open for all to see. If implemented, decent persons with good track records will have a fair chance at winning elections into public offices which in turn will augur well for the electorate.” He cited the example of the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi who is today enjoying a massive support from Nigerians because they all have the information of his past at their disposal.