Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has called on the media to take ownership of the fight against corruption, describing it as significantly key to the success of the anti-graft war.
“The EFCC cannot succeed in carrying out its mandate without the support of the media”, he said.
The EFCC boss stated this on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at an interactive forum with media influencers and other stakeholders in Abuja.
While stating the importance of the engagement, Magu said that “everything that is wrong with Nigeria as a country is traceable to corruption”.
According to him, the task of fighting economic and financial crimes was painstaking and broad-based and should be embraced by all strata of the society with the media serving as channel of communication and enlightenment.
“The media’s potential to inform and educate the people is crucial for us. We believe that on our own, we cannot win the war against corruption without a buy-in by the people. This is where the support of the media comes in. We need the media to help sensitize the people on the ills of corruption and economic crimes”, Magu said.
He added that the time had come when we must increase the tempo of the fight against corruption and move the country to the next level.
The anti-graft czar appreciated the media for its support for the Commission in the area of enlightenment and coverage of Commission’s activities, urging it to do more by exposing corrupt elements in the society especially now that the election year draws near.
“I beg you, expose the corrupt and we will come after them. Nobody is above the law. We are concerned about the future of the unborn generation. Nobody can deter us”, he said..
He also called for attitudinal change if the fight against corruption must be won saying, “We must not celebrate the corrupt, We must not celebrate corruption, We must be courageous and stand for what is right”.
Speaking at the event,a former minister for education, Oby Ezekwezili, called on the EFCC not to be distracted by what she termed as ‘forces of corruption fighting back’.
She called on the government to effect “institutional changes and redirect its policies for a better Nigeria”.
Ezekwezili advised EFCC to always live above board by being transparent and fair in its dealings. She also advised the agency to always keep the public abreast of its activities by constantly updating its cases.
Lauretta Onochie, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, while commending the EFCC boss for a job well done, urged Nigerians to stand up against corruption by preventing corrupt elements seeking elections into public offices from getting to power.
Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director CISLAC identified media’s role alongside that of Labour and CSO’s as strategic to winning the fight against corruption.
He advised EFCC to parley lawyers, bankers, accountants and auditors in subsequent engagements saying that “they are the tools mostly used to perpetrate acts of corruption”.