THE Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede has called on Civil Society Organizations, CSOs across the country to engage in robust anti-corruption campaigns at the grassroots.
He made the call on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at a One-Day Engagement between the EFCC and CSOs in Akwa-Ibom, Abia and Cross River states.
According to Olukoyode, the task of fighting corruption requires the buy-in of every stakeholder in the country, especially people at the grassroots. “Do not leave the fight against corruption to the EFCC alone, support the work as CSOs to enlighten the public, particularly the ones at the grassroots. It’s all about sacrifice. We at the EFCC want to ensure that things are working. We must all put our hands on deck to enable us win this fight”, he said.
The EFCC’s boss, who spoke through the Uyo Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE1 Bawa Hamidu Saidu, stressed that the essence of the engagement was to enjoin the participants, who are closer to the grassroots, to spread the message of anti-corruption and assist the Commission in exposing corrupt practices by way of providing it with intelligence, adding that the success of the EFCC is the success of every Nigerian.
In his remarks, Head, Public Interface Unit of the Commission, ACE I Tony Orilade, outlined several ways of reaching the Commission, which include using the Eagle Eye App, the Commission’s hotline (08093322644), firstname.lastname@example.org, the website, www.efcc.gov.ng; on Social media, @officialefcc, amongst others. He further says that the Commission is always accessible and open to the public at all times.
Speaking on the expected roles of the CSOs in supporting the Commission, ASE II Aisha Mohammed said “we cannot be everywhere. We want to know the best ways to engage the people. We decided to come to your doorstep and talk to you. We want to know, how do we win this fight? We need you to be our eyes, our ears. We are here to brainstorm on how we can improve on our preventive mandate, we don’t know it all. CSOs are the major stakeholders we have and we will always consult and collaborate in the overall interests of the nation.” she said.
She also outlined some of the anti-corruption initiatives of the Commission across the country and they include, Integrity clubs in Primary Schools and Zero Tolerance Clubs in Institutions of Higher Learning.
Representatives of CSOs at the Engagement expressed more commitment to the EFCC in its crusade against corrupt practices. Barrister Clifford Thomas of Foundation for Civic Education, Human Right and Development Advancement and Barrister Nkechi Udoh of Ukeme Development Initiative bared their minds on the works of the EFCC and proposed positive ways of strengthening the strides of the Commission. They also embraced the idea of grassroots campaigns and promised to give the initiative a greater push.
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