Take ownership of the fight against corruption – magu tells nigerians as buhari commissions new efcc hq
by, Uchechukwu Ugboaja – Abuja
Nigerians have been urged to take ownership of the fight against corruption as the Nigerian anti-graft agency opens its new headquarters in Abuja. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who hosted President Muhammadu Buhari as he commissioned the magnificent edifice that costs N24 billion.
It was well attended by national and international audience with desire to curb the corruption menace that have bedevilled Africa’s largest country. The 2015 GMB campaign was anchored on 3 main principles one of which is fighting corruption, however, outside the completion of this edifice that went through 3 previous administrations, much is yet to be told to most Nigerians of the Ibrahim Magu’s led EFCC, that have had to respond to several allegations of witch a hunting exercise against opposition politicians.
Charting with some members of the independent new media, students groups and civil society members, the Chairman revealed that one of the ways this fight can be owned by Nigerians is to embrace the ‘see something say something’ slogan. During the Chairman’s welcome address he cited how the EFCC had collaborated with the FIRS to recover funds from tax evaders which can be corroborated with the Ministry of Finance recent announcement that 14 whistleblowers will be paid the sum of N439.276 million for providing tips on tax evaders.
The Ag. EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu, seized the occasion to reiterate the agency’s ‘Zero Tolerance To Corruption’ of all forms and vowed to keep momentum on the fight regardless of who is on the other side of the law.
According to him, “there will be no hiding place for corruption, we are ready to engage everyone including in this fight, that is why we are calling on every Nigerian to own the fight against corruption,” he said.
“This year alone we have secured 89 convictions and within the last 2 years 418 convictions and this is with over N500billion well remitted to the federal government and in accordance with the laws.”
Ibrahim Magu urged that Nigerians must begin to take action against corruption by taking ownership of the fight.
“Fighting corruption is key not only to free our society from immorality but from poverty and underdevelopment,” he said.
Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara was of the view that the fight against corruption should be taken beyond the infrastructural perspective. Using an analogy to express his view, the Speaker said, “A computer system is as good as its software, which means that if you have a bad software then the hardware is meaningless.
“This implies that the fight against corruption should be centered around the courageous men and women who are at the forefront of this battle against corruption, they are the software of EFCC while the building and other assets are the hardware.
“So the point I am making, the speaker said, “is that the EFCC men and women who are to discharge this onerous task of challenging the scourge of corruption must be well insulated from temptations by improving their welfare and conditions of service,” the speaker stressed.
This view from the National Assembly drew a resounding applaud among audience most of whom are staff of the commission.
Other prominent guests are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, Secretary General Common Wealth of Nations, Godwin Emefiele CBN, abd wife of former EFCC Chairman Mrs Zara Ribadu.
Others who made it were Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, Hon. Minister of Defence, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Him. Minister of Health, former EFCC Chairman, Madam Farida Waziri, and Former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.