The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has urged Nigerians to refrain from paying lip-service to the fight against corruption, but rather, to become practical in their actions and attitude towards eradicating the menace from all segments of our country.
Magu’s charge came through Zonal Head of the Commission in the South East, Usman Imam, on Monday, during a speech to round off the Anti-Corruption Walk organised by EFCC across major streets of Enugu in commemoration of the International Day Against Corruption.
“You must not only be heard but also 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 boss lamented the high level of poverty in the country.
He noted that the level of corruption in any country affects development and the 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 or 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 access to basic amenities…”
Detailing the achievements of the Commission this year, as over 150 convictions including that of former governors of Taraba and Plateau states, Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, as well as 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 also earning legitimate income.
Also speaking at 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 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other stakeholders, expressed their satisfaction with the EFCC in organising the walk.
They stated 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.