By Stephen Adeleye.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has solicited the support of the Nigerian youths in the fight against corruption, saying ‘youths are worst hit as victims of corruption’.
Mr Dapo Oyebade, a Representative of EFCC Zonal Office, Ilorin, made the call after a solidarity rally against corruption, tagged: ”Nigerian Youth Walk Against Corruption”, in Lokoja on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the solidarity walk against corruption was a collaboration between the EFCC and the NYSC.
”We need the youths to support us in this fight against corruption which is the cankerworm that has eaten deep into our country; we cannot fight it alone.
”There is no doubt that corruption is alien to us, it is detestable and abhorrent to our culture; it is our great pleasure to build the youth proud of all. The youths are the worst hit as victims of corruption.
”Build the youths, build the nation; destroy the youths, destroy the nation. We urge the youths to join us to fight corruption to its kneel,” he said.
According to Oyebade, corruption has eaten deep into every fabric of the Nigeria society, it manifest itself from various forms such as bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, cybercrime, money laundering, among others.
He said that its effect was being felt in various ways such as unemployment, institutional and infrastructural decay, poor health facilities, poor education, insecurity, among others.
He noted that the EFCC zonal office Ilorin which comprised Kogi and Kwara, which started operation in Feb. 2019, had had 48 convictions with recoveries both in cash and assets worth N8.5 billion.
”It is also on record that the EFCC handed over N111 million to Kwara Government. EFCC covers Kogi and Kwara States, and I am assuring you that our effect in both States would be massive,” he said.
In his remarks, Kogi Deputy Governor, Mr Edward Onoja, commended the youths for the solidarity walk, while applauding President Mohammadu Buhari for his consistency in the anti-corruption fight.
He also commended the EFCC for lots of prosecutions against corrupt public officials in the recent past, saying it would serve as a deterrent for other public officials.
”In Kogi, the governor just as he has zero tolerance for crime and criminality, also has zero tolerance for corruption and has promised to account for every single kobo that belongs to Kogi people,” Onoja said.
He said that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) was now fully in operation in Kogi, noting that some top government officials were recently suspended due to non compliance.
He, therefore, advised the youth to passionately support the fight against corruption, saying, ”If truly you love this nation you will do everything to stop corruption”.
The State Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Olayiwola Lasaki, noted that the Director General of NYSC, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, had directed all state coordinators in the north central to ensure that corps members and staff carried out a one kilometer anti-corruption walk rally in collaboration with the EFCC.
Lasaki said that the anti-corruption walk was being carried out simultaneously by NYSC members across the 21 local government areas of Kogi, stressing that it would go a long way to really convince the populace to jointly fight corruption.
He stressed that enlisting the vibrant youths to the campaign against corruption would have a huge positive impact in the state and the nation at large, saying, ”youths are the leaders of tomorrow”.
NAN reports that the NYSC members carried placards with various inscription such as ”Zero Tolerance to Corruption”, ”Say Yes To Decent Work Agenda”, ”NYSC Kogi State Says No To Corruption”, among others.
Dignitaries who participated in the solidarity walk were: the Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja; the SSG, Dr Afolashade Ayoade; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Abdulkareem Asuku, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, among others.