Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Front-line rights activist and executive chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has observed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), are too elitist for the fight against corruption.
To this end, he suggested the establishment of a new anti graft agency that will focus on the fight against corruption at the grassroots level, stressing that the level of corruption at the grassroots is alarming and needed urgent stop.
Delivering a public lecture titled ‘Curbing Corruption in Nigeria political processes: Establishing a grassroots paradigm in good governance, accountability and transparency’, Adeniran called on the Federal Government to extend the war against corruption to the grassroots.
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His words, “The grassroots should be focused at in the war against corruption, because EFCC, ICPC and other anti graft agencies are not present in the rural areas and people use the advantage of that to perpetrate many corrupt acts there. This should be stopped by our government.”
Besides, he stressed the need for the Federal Government to embark on sensitisation programmes at all levels in order to win the war against corruption.
He continued, “There is need for our people at the grassroots to know the elements of corruption.
“The elites already know much about corruption, so, EFCC and ICPC should be used to fight corrupt elites, while a new anti-graft agency is established to wage war against corruption at the grassroots level.”
Commending the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on the fight against corruption, the rights activist noted that the present administration has achieved greatly in its fight against corruption with the prosecution of some leaders, especially former Governors.
Adeniran, who lauded the courage of President Buhari to prosecute some alleged corrupt leaders, said the number of former governors being tried was a proof of the Buhari’s commitment to anti-corruption fight.
He noted that Nigeria has made impressive progress in the fight against corruption since President Buhari assumed office in 2015, stressing that Nigerians are now afraid of being involved in corrupt acts.
“Nigeria leaders including serving Ministers and Governors are no longer reckless in embezelling public funds.
“They are afraid of the government of President Buhari and the same is the situation in all institutions in the country,” he said.
Adeniran maintained that the future of Nigeria is in the hands of all Nigerians urged the people to support the fight against corruption for a better and prosperous nation.