The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday warned Nigerians to desist from politicising the ongoing fight against corruption being waged by the commission so as to rid the nation of the monster.
Speaking at a National Stakeholders Workshop on Recovery and Management of Recovered Assets organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, he faulted those who are vilifying EFCC for daring to confront corruption, stressing that the only goal of the commission was to protect national interest and not individual fortune.
Ribadu, who recently defected to the APC from the PDP, said that the current approach by the EFCC against corruption remained the best and most appropriate way to go in tackling graft, asking Nigerians to avoid whipping sentiments into the fight to ensure its success.
His words, “I want to appeal to Nigerians to give the current government’s fight against corruption a chance and shun the undue politicisation of issues. There is no other way to prosecute anticorruption than what we are witnessing presently.
“The effort has yielded appreciable result going by the unprecedented recoveries and the high profile cases being handled. The government and those in charge of the process deserve commendation and our collective support.
“This war is about the survival of our country and the right environment has to be created for the malfeasance to be cleaned and the right foundations and tools set for greater Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, emotions are often put forward before national interest, thereby rubbishing what is otherwise noble and patriotic undertaking.
“Some of us that have done this work and those presently doing it, have been unduly vilified for nothing other than daring to confront the corruption monster. We need to change our attitude, if we are to make enduring headway in this all-important battle,” the ex-EFCC chairman noted.
Giving insight into how the war against corruption can succeed, he suggested that a high level consultation be held among the three arms of government to discuss steps and measures of evolving a comprehensive national strategy on the fight against corruption that would enumerate the roles expected of the three tiers of government.
His words, “We should have a strategy that is a product of a consensus. Out of this strategy we can agree, if need be, to have new laws or institutions with clear mandates and responsibilities.
“The federating units should also be invited to sign on to this strategy so that at the end whatever emerges is what everyone consents to. This buy-ins will guarantee effective implementation.
“There is also the need to come together and make the best use of what we have, presently. We have adequate mechanisms and tools to fight corruption through the instruments of such laws and agencies as ICPC, EFCC, NEITI, BPP, AMCON, NDIC, CCB, among others.
“From my personal experience, and from the example of EFCC as an organisation, this work is better managed when we have all components under one roof that caters for everything, instead of having several agencies with overlapping and duplicating functions.”