The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr Ibrahim Magu has said that corruption has defiled all known solutions and has spread like cancer in Nigeria.
Magu said this in Calabar on Thursday during a workshop for Community Based Organisations on Whistle Blowing and Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria, organised by the African Center for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).
The Acting Chairman, who was represented by Mrs Theresa Nwosu, Head, Public Affairs Department of the Commission, Uyo Office said “Corruption has defied every solution thrown at it and is still spreading like cancer.
“Nigerians must come to the realisation that they are the ones that suffer more if it is allowed to continue to fester”.
He noted that EFCC cannot be everywhere at the same time, but there were Nigerians in all parts of the country who should give credible information to the commission.
According to him, one of the core mandates of the commission was not just to arrest and prosecute corrupt Nigerians but to ensure prevention of corrupt practices.
“It is important to note that prevention can only be enhanced through sensitisation because a lot of people are unaware and ignorant of the dangers of corruption to the nation.
“Nigeria has just one problem, corruption, but if it is sincerely dealt with every other thing will naturally fall into place.” He added.
He stressed that the whistle blowers policy had really helped the commission in the anti-corruption war, adding that it was very possible for someone to be a whistle blower without any other person knowing.
In his remark, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Prof Bolaji Olufunmileyi, who was represented by Mr Larry Abuo said the commission developed the whistle blower initiative in 2014 to fight corruption.
Olufunmileyi said the commission created an an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) in conjunction with other units to ensure the prevention of corruption, especially in the public service.
“Due to the commission’s engagement, it has been able to launch a nationwide community enlightenment and initiative called ‘My Constituency my Project’ and has saved up to N2 billion in recovery of diverted project,” he said.
He called on Nigerians to join hands in the fight against corruption as it was the only way the nation could be rid of the menace.
Also speaking, the State Coordinator, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mrs Florence Osang said for the fight against corruption to be effective, there must be a change of attitude among Nigerians.
She said the fight against corruption must start from the homes as Nigerian Children must be mentored to love their country and not just the constant attack of government and its officials.
“The president may be trying to do all that is right but what of those under him, especially those in the agencies created to fight corruption? Nigerians need to love Nigeria and be patriotic in the fight against corruption, don’t change because you feel you are alone in the battle”, she said.
Earlier, the Coordinator of AFRICMIL, Dr. Chido Onumah said his organisation had been engaging the whistle blowing process in the last three years and had intervened on behalf of whistle blowers who were victimised by their employers.
Onumah said their goal was to introduce local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the country, starting with Cross River and Akwa Ibom on how they could use the whistle blowing mechanism in demanding for accountability and fighting corruption.
He appealed to Nigerians to join the National Whistle Blowing Coalition which was a network of community based organisations and CSOs.
Author: Edem Edem