Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC,Ibrahim Mustapha Magu has called on Nigerians not to pay lip service to the fight against corruption but rather be practical in their actions and attitude towards eradicating the menace from all segments of our country.
Magu’s charge came through the Zonal Head of the Commission in the South East, Usman Imam on Monday 10th December during a speech to round up the Anti-Corruption Walk organised by EFCC across major streets of Enugu in commemoration of the International Day Against Corruption.
“ Your No must not only be heard but much more be seen and felt through a conscious determination to resist attempts by individuals,organisations and systems to do that which negates integrity,transparency,honesty and equality.” He stated.
While tracing the history of the occasion to December 9,2013 when 145 nations of the world under the auspices of the United Nations signed a treaty known as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) where they unequivocally condemned corruption, the anti-corruption tzar lamented the high level of poverty in the country, noting that the level of corruption in any country affects the level of development and that citizens must decide to be different by realising that the change they are waiting to see in others must start with them .
“Those who have been identified as corrupt among the people must not be celebrated nor given chieftaincy titles and must consciously be alienated as deterrent to others and for all to know that corruption is anti-people.”
He further stressed that “ It is important that as we mark this day we must not lose focus on the relationship between corruption and development.The United Nations Secretary General succinctly captured this when he said that “ Money Lost to corruption is essentially development denied because corruption denies citizens their right and acess to basic amenities…”
Detailing the achievements of the Commission this year which include over 150 convictions including that of former governors of Taraba and Plateau states,Rev.Jolly Nyame and Chief Joshua Dariye respectively, and the recoveries of billions of naira, Magu urged nigerians especially, south easterners to embrace the whistle blowers policy of the federal government as an avenue of not only recovering stolen funds but earning legitimate income.
Speaking separately during the occasion, Major W.O. Ahmeed of the Nigerian Army,Wing Commodore Adeyeye of Nigerian Navy, Ozi Agualize of the ICPC and representative of the NYSC and other stakeholders all expressed their satisfaction with the EFCC in organising the walk stating that the war against corruption was a collective one that must involve all law enforcement agencies. They equally agreed that attitudinal change and a strong political will from government are needed for the war against corruption to bear positive results.
The event held simultaneously across all EFCC’s offices in the country including the headquarters in Abuja.