May 23, 2024

Tough times await looters- Olukoyede

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Tough times await looters- Olukoyede

Etim Ekpimah

Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, has vowed to tackle looters of public funds, drainers of resources and other corrupt elements in Nigeria to make room for growth and development across the country.

He stated this on Saturday, December 9, 2023, in Abuja in a Road Walk held in commemoration of the 2023 International Anti-Corruption Day.  Olukoyede pointed out that the EFCC under his watch would not allow resources meant for economic growth and greater, good of Nigerians to be cornered by looters and that every stolen fund would be recovered to develop social systems in the country.

“We are going to give sleepless nights to those stealing our money.  We are going to remove opportunities for corruption.  We are going to plug the loopholes. 

“We are in the era of a new budget.  We have sent words to all the gatekeepers of our finances in Nigeria that we are going to work with them.  Every money that is released, we are going to track them”, he said.

He decried the hurtful effects of corruption on Nigerians, promising that the anti-corruption mandate of the EFCC is being refocused to stimulate growth and development in all the sectors of the economy.  

“We are refocusing the anti-corruption mandate of the EFCC.  We will fight corruption to stimulate growth and development and remove all the threats to the progress of the nation.  We are tired of corruption in Nigeria.  Our youths must have job opportunities”, he said.

On the theme of the 2023 International Anti-Corruption Day: UNCAC@20: Uniting the World against Corruption, Olukoyede stated that the whole world must come together to fight corruption but expressed readiness to approach the international community for the recovery of stolen funds kept abroad.

“Those who are keeping looted funds abroad are more corrupt than us. We are going to go after them.  We will recover our funds and use them to develop our systems”, he said.

He called on Nigerians to show more support for the government, assuring that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ready to promote businesses and public good.

The Road Walk which started at the Abuja Zonal Command of the EFCC in Wuse district through some major roads in Maitama, witnessed a massive turnout of Nigerians from all walks of life, including staff of the EFCC,  civil society organisation’s representatives of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC,   Police,  Armed Forces,  National Youth Service Corps, NYSC,  women groups,  media and other stakeholders.  Amidst singing and dancing, banners with different inscriptions condemning corruption were displayed by the crowd.

The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, represented by the Commissioner of Police,  Federal Capital Territory,  Haruna. G. Garba expressed delight with the Road Walk, describing it as a demonstration of renewed hope of progress in Nigeria.

“The Road Walk against corruption organised by the EFCC is a demonstration of a renewed hope that, if we can fight corruption and other crimes in Nigeria, it will be better for our country.  Nigeria has potential to be great.  These potentials are on the air, on the land and beneath the ground and if we annex them without corruption, we will be able to provide for our children and children yet unborn”, he said.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, represented by Group Captain Abdulahi Abu, expressed support for the EFCC in its crusade against corruption and called on every Nigerian to continue to support it to make Nigeria great. “I want to assure you that the Nigeria Air Force stands with you to fight corruption through prevention, enforcement and coordination”, he said.

The Road Walk was held in all the fourteen Zonal Commands of the EFCC.  In Benin City, the walk began at the Benin Zonal command office on Court Road, through Sapele Road, Ring Road, Oba Market Road, Obakhavere Road, Plymouth Road, Airport Road, Ezoti Street before terminating at the Commission’s Office.

The colourful event had staff clad in T-shirts bearing various anti-corruption messages with corps members and CSOs carrying banners with various inscriptions such as “Say No to Corruption, it’s Evil,”  “Shun corruption,” “Stop Any form of Corruption” and a host of others.  

Speaking on behalf of Olukoyede, the Zonal Commander, Kanu Idagu said the theme of this year’s Anti-Corruption Day, emphasized the need for collective efforts against the menace.

“All over the world, corruption is a threat to the growth and development of individuals and nations. No one is immune to the contagion of corruption which is why nations are united in finding solutions to the common ailment.”. He urged the public to take ownership of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

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