EFCC Rallies Nigerians to Mark AU Anti-Corruption Day
As part of activities to mark the 2018 African Anti-Corruption Day, Nigeria’s foremost anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, July 11, 2018 staged anti-corruption walk across the country with calls on the people to take ownership of the fight against corruption for a better Nigeria.
Head of states and Governments of the African Union, AU, in 2011 declared July 11 every year as the ‘African Anti- Corruption Day’, following the adoption of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption on 11 July, 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique.
This year’s event has unique resonance coming against the backdrop of the AU declaration of 2018 as the ‘African Year of Combating Corruption’, with the theme, “wining the fight against corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.
The designation of President Muhammadu Buhari as Africa’s Anti-Corruption Champion also adds a distinct Nigerian flavour to this year’s event with the EFCC driving the process.
Led by Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, EFCC, the walk which took-off from the EFCC’s Old Head Office, Wuse 2, Abuja en route Unity Fountain terminated at Eagles Square, Abuja. It took place simultaneously in all EFCC offices across Nigeria.
In Abuja, participants who moved amidst singing and dancing defied the scorching sun, carrying banners and placards bearing inscriptions such as: “Africa United Against Corruption”; “Kill Corruption before Corruption Kills Nigeria”; Nigerian Youths Say No To Corruption”; “Nigerian Women Say No To Corruption”; “Let’s Support the Fight Against Corruption” and “Let’s Make Nigeria Great Again”.
In his keynote address, Magu stressed the need to unite to successfully eliminate corruption, so as not to risk economic growth being slowed and prosperity muzzled.
“The cause and effects of corruption are very clear to everyone. It has been identified as one of the major factors responsible for the current state of the economy”, he said.
The EFCC boss urged Nigerians, and indeed youths to see corruption fight as a priority, which everyone must be involved in, if we desire to sustainably address the issue of poverty and also make the economy work for everyone.
He added that corruption was the reason the country had been unable to transform its rich natural and human resource endowment into prosperity, and called for collaboration of all stakeholders in taming the malaise.
Also speaking at the event, Anthony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, said, “Nigeria is taking the lead in the fight against corruption in Africa, because of the tremendous work EFCC is doing”.
He commended the EFCC for the good work and called on the anti-graft agency not to relent in its efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption. While calling on all to join the anti-corruption crusade, the NHRC noted that, “human right is the great casualty of corruption”.
In his remark, Comrade Ayuba Philibus Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, lauded the Commission’s achievements so far and pledged support of Nigerian workers for efforts geared towards wiping out corruption in Nigeria.
Wabba said that Nigerians have suffered in the hands of looters and it has become imperative, for everyone to join in the fight, as that is the only way the war can be won.
He wondered how a few individuals can borrow N5.4trillion and refuse to pay back, stressing that it is high time Nigerians started to form alliance against the corrupt elements looting our common patrimony.
‘‘We cannot continue to watch our country drift into intolerable poverty. It is time to act because corruption is a threat to our survival as a nation”, said Waba.
Also, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress, expressed the readiness of the working class to joining forces in salvaging Nigeria from the firm grip of looters.
Princess Gloria Akobundu, CEO, NEPAD/APRM stressed the effects of corruption on the socio-well being of the people, while pledging the support of her organization for the EFCC in its bid towards ensuring a corrupt free nation.
Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin, President, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW; Alhaji Musa Isiwele, President, Road Transport Employers Association, RTEAN, who also participated in the walk urged Nigerians to own the fight against corruption because it had led to the decay of various sectors of the nation’s economy.
The walk featured invited stakeholders from diverse sectors including the Nigeria Police, Independence Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC; organized Labour, National Council of Women Societies, youth organizations and civil society organizations.
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