Eniola Akinkuotu and Chukwudi Akasike
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, says there are many people in authority claiming to be supporting the war against corruption but are doing the opposite.
He also slammed those calling on the EFCC not to put too much focus on punishment of politically-exposed persons.
Incidentally, Senate President Bukola Saraki had at the public presentation of Senator Dino Melaye’s book titled, ‘Antidotes to Corruption,’ asked anti-corruption agencies to concentrate on prevention of corruption rather than punishment of corrupt persons.
Magu, while addressing a crowd during the EFCC stakeholders’ walk against corruption in Abuja on Tuesday, said the anti-corruption war was being frustrated by those who should ordinarily protect the poor masses.
He said, “It is time to weep for those who believe they can perpetually hold down Nigeria as a cow and milk her to death. It is time to weep for supposed men and women of honour who pose as corruption fighters but when they think we are not looking, they plot and fund the collapse of the anti-corruption war.”
Magu added, “While most of us who feel the pains of corruption are asking for more vigour in the fight, the cabal profiting from corruption would want the campaign watered down. While many Nigerians are calling for stiffer punishment for the corrupt, the patrons of corruption now tell us that it does not pay to punish the corrupt.”
The EFCC boss urged Nigerians to join the corruption war by embracing the whistle-blower policy of the Federal Government.
The walk, which lasted three hours, started from the EFCC head office in Wuse 2 through the Unity Fountain, Maitama and the Federal Secretariat.
The walk also took place in all the EFCC zonal offices located across the six geo-political zones.
In Lagos, the President of Women Arise for Change Initiative, Joe Okei-Odumakin, called on Nigerians to continue to expose corruption, saying it is necessary to preserve the future of the country.
Okei-Odumakin, a leading female rights activist, also described corruption as “cancerous.’’
In his address, the Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr Debo Adeniran, said the walk was an expression of sheer determination to wipe out corruption from Nigeria.
Adeniran, who said Nigeria stood a chance of reclaiming her lost image through the current anti-graft crusade, further urged Nigerians to support the efforts of Magu to rid Nigeria of corruption.
Also, the Leader of Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Inibehe Effiong, said the current decadence in Nigeria could only be eradicated through a sustained war against corruption.
In a similar event in Rivers State, Magu said he was not afraid of anybody in the ongoing fight against corruption.
Magu, who declared that he had no fear in his DNA, said he would not succumb to pressure no matter how highly placed those involved in corrupt practices might be.
The acting EFCC chairman, who spoke through the Zonal Head of the commission, South-South, Mr Ishaq Salihu, during a walk against corruption in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, maintained that everybody was equal before the law. (Punchng.com)