By: Amawu, Cletus Albert Amawu.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), organised it maiden national public enlightenment campaign with the theme: Nigerian Youths Walk Against Corruption, and sub-themes as: Corruption Is Worse Than Cancer: Youths Reject It; No Future with Corruption, and Corruption: See Something, Say Something.
In his address, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said it has become imperative with the Commission new perspective on the prevention mandate as set out in Section 6(p) of the EFCC Establishment Act, for public enlightenment and sensitisation about the menace of corruption, which the sub-theme captured succinctly as “…Worse than Cancer.”
His address in full reads; “Public enlightenment and sensitisation about the menace of corruption have become more increasingly imperative as we continue to check the evils of economic and financial crimes in our midst.
My desire in this regard is to ensure public ownership of the fight against corruption and make every Nigerian a ready stakeholder in the fight.
The new perspective we are exploring is the awakening and mobilisation of youths in our nation to the task of exposing, confronting and tackling the scourge of corruption. As we all know, youths constitute the bulk of our population and they are the realities and strength of our future.
The Nigerian youths are crucial to the success of the anti-corruption crusade and commitments of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.”
“In this regard, the EFCC, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport Development, and the National Youth Service Corps, is holding this first-ever NIGERIAN YOUTHS WALK AGAINST CORRUPTION, in all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The objectives of the Walk are multifarious. The most significant of them are the to sensitise, mobilise youths across the country to reject the evils of corrupt practices, encourage youths to be anti-corruption advocates and ambassadors, enlist youths to partner with the EFCC by providing information and actionable intelligence on fraudsters, organise youths as change agents and pace-setters in integrity and galvanise the energies and resourcefulness of youths to prevent corruption in all sector of our polity.
“The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), more than ever before is ready to develop new modalities of youth engagements in the anti-corruption fight. Corps members in all the States of the Federation have come out in large number today to lead the Walk.
Other interest groups, like women, civil society organisations, labour unions and others have also joined in the Walk and we are excited about your participation.
“I want to use this forum to appeal to every Nigerian to continue beyond this walk to identify with the anti-corruption efforts of this government.
Our peculiarities and experiences as a nation make every war against corruption imperative and all-involving. We will continue to draw local and global attention to the fact that corruption is not our culture and does not grow on our soil.”
Continuing he said, “It is an accidental malaise and must not be allowed to remain in our midst.
The EFCC, will not relent in its works against it and every Nigerian must awake to the need for us to combat the evil together.
He concluded by appreciating the maximum cooperation from stakeholders and vow that the fight against corruption must be fought head on with no sacred cow, “I deeply appreciate the cooperation, support and genuine drive of all of the stakeholders involved in the walk today, especially the State Director NYSC and all our sister agencies who have made this Walk a huge success. It is gladdening that you are showing the way forward to our Youths because there can be no future for anyone if corruption is not destroyed.”
The representative of the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Benedict Agweye, Head of Forensic Department, Abuja corroborated Mr. Ibrahim Magu, when he told journalists that, “The EFCC, has the mandate to fight corruption and we continue to maintain zero level tolerance for all activities of corruption, and today we are here with all the stakeholders to operationalized the aspect of the EFCC mandate that talks about awareness creation with the Nigerian youth as represented by the NYSC.”
He disabused the notion of selective fight against corruption, citing thus; “the very recent event of the conviction of Orji Uzor Kalu, a chieftain of the All Progressive Party (APC), clearly shows the impartiality and determination of the EFCC in its quest to rid the nation of corrupted people. Hence, cross all divides.” He appealed to the Nigerian youths and all stakeholders to join force with the EFCC and the Federal Government to kill corruption, else, corruption kill us.
On his the part, the Cross River State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr. Eddy Megwa, enjoin the Nigerian youths to support the President and join the campaign to fight corruption. He said, “Today is a very special day in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Federal Government powered by the President himself is mobilizing the Nigerian youths through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to join the campaign against corruption in Nigeria. We have been fighting and today, we have taken it a step further with this WALK, to say; No to Corruption. And that is why the NYSC, Cross River State is mobilizing over 1,000 Corps members to sensitise other youths of the danger of corruption and champion a new cause of No Corruption in Nigeria.
We want to catch them young, carrying the crusade by the youths by the Corps members to tell others that, dwelling in the past is wrong, and that they must support the vision of President Mohammadu Buhari, to show commitment and solidarity to his cause.
Corruption is not only about stealing money; but not doing the right thing at the right time and parents who have failed to educate the children of their civic ethics is corruption, and we want to change that mentality,” he concluded.
The WALK started from the Municipal Garden, on Marian and terminated at Eleven-Eleven,
And in attendance were members of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Labour Organisations and the Press.