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President Goodluck Jonathan’s Alleged “Lie” in his Independence Day Speech was based on a Newspaper Report



President Goodluck Jonathan in his 52nd Independence Day broadcast on October 1st, 2012 told Nigerians that the global corruption watch body, Transparency International, rated Nigeria second after United States in anti-corruption efforts.

He was quoted as saying “In its latest report, Transparency International noted that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption. We will sustain the effort in this direction with an even stronger determination to strengthen the institutions that are statutorily entrusted with the task of ending this scourge.”

His statement has however raised up some controversy as findings have revealed that Transparency International never gave Nigeria such a rating. When Premium Times contacted Transparency International seeking a copy of its latest report which the President referred to in his speech, the group replied in an email saying it had no such report.

“Transparency International does not have a recent rating or report that places Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption.”

The group said its most recent indexing of Nigeria’s corruption activities was in the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measured perceived level of public sector corruption in the country. In that index, Nigeria scored 2.4 on a scale where 0 means highly corrupt and 10 means very clean. It was ranked 143 out of 183 countries.

This false information which many have tagged as a “lie” from the President has brought much shame to the Presidency and indeed to the country. How is it possible that something as important as an Independence Speech was prepared with false information? It is quite ridiculous.

It also puts a huge question mark to all other previous claims made by the Presidency.

However, in a recent statement by one of the Presidential aides on Media, Reno Omokri, the President’s statement was drawn from a Business Day report. As stated on the Federal Ministry of Information website: In a headline published on the 12th of September 2012 with the title ‘FG’s anti-corruption initiative impacts Nigeria’s global perception’  Business Day Newspaper said that “The survey on global corruption perceptions for 2011 versus 2001 show that the third best improvement in the world was in Nigeria, with its score improving by 1.5 points”.

The reports quoted above published by the newspaper were believed to be the true facts from dependable sources and used by the President in good faith which has not been disputed by the sources, Mr Reno said.

Although he claimed that Transparency International has not disputed their reports to the Presidency, Premium Times says otherwise. Findings from the Transparency International website  also contradicts the President’s claims.

So then, who is responsible for the “lie”? And if you notice, the Business Day  report says that Nigeria has the third best improvement in the world. Meanwhile, the President said that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption. Also, the Business Day report was published on the 14th of September on their website and not 12th of September like Mr. Reno said.

This is all too confusing…

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. ogo

    October 3, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Its definitely not the faulour president but the person dat researched and prepared his speech! But then again, the president should have tried to confirm this claims but me and u no say dat one no go dey possible when he has plenty tins to worry about! Like the illhealth ofhis precious Dame, Aunty pepe…..Chei! All will be well…..I am praying for my counrty sha!

  2. jigga

    October 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Naija dey bam!

  3. ArabianPrincess

    October 3, 2012 at 8:40 am

    @ Jigga, U said it all. I finally watched dat video on Monday and I tell U, there must be sumfin dat makes us strong irrespective!

  4. Naijasportsgists

    October 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

    This is incompetence on the part of the President’s speech writers. He has to punish them.

  5. DocDeola

    October 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Lol! I can’t believe anyone bothered to scrutinise his speech…his record of cleanliness is apparent for all to see, just look at Nigeria, basic amenities not available. He is a LIE, and I’m sure if he saw truth, he would run away, for all the lies he has told against it…leading to yet more lies.

  6. May

    October 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

    That’s not the only lie in his report. The comment on cargo dwell time in the ports is not true as well…… I know that for a fact. Makes you wonder about this President!

  7. Ginika

    October 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I dont even need to call that agency to findout, ME I can tell you right now that it is a lie!

  8. Iris

    October 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    LMFAO! Kai! So our national statistics are coming from internet sources and not information from the agencies themselves? Universities won’t even let you quote from some newspaper sources for a term paper! Okay now, I shall create a highly professional-looking website soon and put all kinds of interesting and favourable facts for them to use for next year’s speech. They’ll pay me abi?

  9. Chattyzee

    October 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    The downward spiral of a President begins when he starts relying on unconfirmed sources in things as important as his speech on the country’s independence day. What a shame on him.

  10. may

    October 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    ROTFLOL!!! I no fit cry, so let me laugh! What a shame! Only in Nigeria. Please, what’s the internet there for? And google? Hisssss!

  11. X factor

    October 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Most assuredly, Mr President is oblivious of the true picture of situation in the country.This ineptitude on the path of the press secretary /officials further attests to the laxity with which the country is being handled…..

  12. Radiant

    October 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Well, its *an issue of intellectual dishonesty/laziness. It is always important to verify. Never assume. Your audience is smarter than you make them out. #alsotalkingtomyself.

  13. ihuoma

    October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Ndi ashi na ibe ha! Hiss

  14. Dayo

    October 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    LOL @ newspapers trying to undermine someone else when they are obviously not literate enough themselves to distinguish between “latest” and “recent”! It is functional illiteracy to equate ‘latest’ with ‘recent’ since both actually mean different things. In fact, even if the last TI Report was a decade (or even 20 years) old, it would still be its LATEST report so long as no other report has been published since. Accordingly, if no report has been publish since the 2011 reported cited by Mr. Jonathan (or borrowed from BusinessDay by his speechwriters), IT IS NOT A LIE to refer to its as TI “latest” report. I realize that our educational standards have slipped, but franly Nigerian journalists (holding a position of public trust) should DO BETTER!

  15. Bimbo Ola

    October 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    The problem with most Nigerians is that they cannot understand the simplest sentence. This trait makes me deeply ashamed as a Nigerian in a foreign land.
    The proof of what I’m saying is in the very first sentence of the article and every response before mine. The first sentence of the article does not say Nigeria is trated 2nd, but that it is the 2nd MOST IMPROVED. Very big difference! Shame on all of you for your lack of understanding of English after going to school.

    Here is the first sentence of the article again:
    “President Goodluck Jonathan in his 52nd Independence Day broadcast on October 1st, 2012 told Nigerians that the global corruption watch body, Transparency International, rated Nigeria second after United States in anti-corruption efforts.”

    Shame on you people.

    • Iris

      October 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      “The problem with most Nigerians is that they cannot understand the simplest sentence…” LOL! Obviously you’re one of the ‘most Nigerians.’ Did you read beyond the first sentence you’re talking about? Did you see the 4th paragraph where it VERY CLEARLY states that the agency has no report of Nigeria being the 2nd most improved? Did you read beyond that to the last paragraph where the author talked about how the president’s speech contradicted the source that same speech quoted from? What baffles me is how in your absolute arrogance you assumed that every single person before you made a mistake and it never occurred to you to double-check the article before you started to talk. Maybe you should go and work for GEJ’s camp. I can only shake my head at you.

    • Ginika

      October 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Sweety, Nigeria is not the 2nd most improved, it is not!!!

      Thank you very much.

  16. Bimbo Ola

    October 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “In its latest report, Transparency International noted that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption.


    • Ginika

      October 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I read it as the 2ND MOST IMPROVED and we are not Bimbo, let us just agree on that.

      Did we move from last position being 183 to 143? And how did we do that? Which time period did they consider? Was it from Abacha’s time compared to the present? Do they mean over the past 20years we have become the 2nd most improved?

      Which one, cause the difference is not clear on ground, as me and you take see am. However if they do this study on an annual basis, corruption from last year and this year seems to be at the same level. Even if it was between 2010 and 2011, 0r 2009 and 2010 or 2008 and 2009 (you get my drift?!)

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