As part of activities to mark the 2017 International Anti-Corruption Day celebration, staff of Nigeria’s leading anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, December 11, 2017 staged anti-corruption walk across the country with calls on the people to take ownership of the fight against corruption for a better Nigeria.
Led by Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, EFCC, the walk which took-off from the EFCC Head Office, Wuse 2, Abuja en route Unity Fountain to Area 11 junction, has as its theme, “United Against Corruption for Development Peace and Security”.
Participants who moved amidst singing and dancing carried banners and placards such as “Say No To Corruption”; “Corruption Kills”; Corruption, Our Greatest Enemy”; “Kill Corruption Now”; “Do not be silent, blow the whistle to fight corruption” and “Let us make Nigeria Great Again”. They also had Red Cards boldly inscribed on their ‘T Shirts”, to symbolically send corruption out of Nigeria.
The walk which held simultaneously in all the cities where the EFCC has offices, featured invited stakeholders from diverse sectors and agencies including the Public Compliant Commission, Nigeria Police, Independence Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC; organized Labour, Ministry of Justice, staff of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, youth organizations, civil society organizations and African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).
In his address, Magu stressed the need for unity in fighting corruption.
He lamented that Nigerians had for long borne the pangs of corruption, adding that corruption had allowed diversion and conversion of public funds into private pockets and accounts adding that “it is high high time Nigerians are united against corruption for sustainable development, peace and security”.
“Our country has witnessed a torrent of the adverse effects of corruption and we need to kill the monster of corruption before it kills our country”, he said.
The anti-graft czar vowed never to give up in making sure that corruption was completely eradicated in Nigeria stressing that, “the days of impunity are gone”.
Also speaking, the Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Mkpe Ayine who 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.
“We cannot underscore the effects of corruption hence we need to join hands and fight the malaise, I personally support this fight against corruption and it is when we are united in the fight against corruption that we will succeed”, he said.
At the Ibadan Zonal Office of the EFCC, the walk kicked off from the ancient Mapo Hall through to Beere and Agbeni markets with huge turnout of stakeholders, NGOs and other collaborating agencies.
The Zonal Head, Akaninyene Ezima, while addressing participants solicited the public to support for the EFCC by giving useful information to expose persons with questionable wealth in our society.
He stressed that the present administration had zero tolerance for corruption adding that, “the Commission needed information to work with in order to raise the bar in the fight against graft and corruption”.
At Uyo, Abdulkarim Chukkol, Head of the Uyo zonal office, led members of staff and stakeholders on the walk through the popular Oron Road to Nwaniba Road and terminated at the Commissions office, off Edet Akpan (4 lane), where he addressed the crowd on the need to shun corruption and support the anti-graft war.
The Zonal Head of Operations of the EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Ishaq Salihu, while addressing participants during the walk urged Nigerians from all walks of life to see the fight against corruption as a national project needing the support and cooperation of all.
According to him, fighting corruption has become a civic responsibility of every well- meaning Nigerian in order for the nation to move forward.
He said: “We must come together to tackle the cancer of corruption. Fighting corrupt practices has become a national project. It is now a civic responsibility and an engagement that cannot be wished away. There is a nexus between corruption and infrastructural problems we have. There is a nexus between corruption and bad roads; between corruption and non- functional hospitals and other institutions that are not working well. If we come together to tackle this monster, Nigeria will move forward faster than we can imagine”.
He reiterated the EFCC determination not to leave any stone unturned in the fight against corruption adding that, “Money is being recovered and assets are being forfeited to the government”.
The Road Walk took off from the EFCC’s office in the old Government Reservation Area, G.R.A, Port Harcourt and milled through the Mile One bridge and terminated at the popular Mile One market in the city amidst singing, trumpeting and dancing.
Head, Media and Publicity