Pioneer Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has cautioned Nigerians against stealing so as not to hand over a failed nation to their children.
Ribadu gave the advice at the presentation of First Year Report of Corruption Anonymous (CORA) project by African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) on Thursday in Abuja; He said that there were many challenges facing the country and that though the resources to address them were available, corruption was stalling the processing of addressing them.
“We need to stop this corruption and get to use the resources we have maximally to address the problems in our nation, if not we will continue to be in problems.
“This will continue for years and our children will inherit failure; the only way to stop it is if we stop stealing and taking public money.
“What is corruption? It is simply stealing, and stealing from our common wealth, taking what ordinarily belongs to all of us that ought to be used for all of us. “Money that should be used to make our police workable and functioning is being stolen.
“Police that will work and not steal from the people or a military that will be able to do its work to stop insurgency in a short period of time,’’ he said.
Ribadu added that Nigeria was not emulating other countries, asking “why is the military in other parts of the world succeeding? Why are we not?
“Why should we allow our own insurgency to linger for 10 years? “Why is Algeria, Mali stopping it in one year, why not Nigeria? I am telling you it’s all because of corruption.’’
He said that corruption was the cancer that destroyed and rendered institutions ineffective and useless because it would not make Nigeria have the equipment to get results like other countries; also urged Nigerians to collectively join hands regardless of their level, put away politics of selfish interest and address the issue of corruption for the good of the nation.
On his part, Deputy Director, MacArthur Foundation, Mr Dayo Olaide, said that the foundation had committed itself to helping Nigeria to fight corruption.
Olaide said that there was need to strengthen Nigerians to embrace the anti-corruption fight because it could only be won with synergy between citizens and government.
He also stressed the need for corrupt Nigerians in Diaspora to be brought under the whistle-blowing policy, adding that the law should not exempt anyone. Olaide urged the government to have the willingness to strengthen the protection of Nigerians under the policy. He also called on the National Assembly to pass the numerous anti-corruption bills before it to strengthen the fight against corruption.
Mr Chido Onumah, Coordinator, AFRICMIL, said that the organisation launched CORA to engage civil society organisations and Nigerians in tackling corruption. Onumah said that the project was aimed at creating awareness about whistle-blowing and making Nigerians to see the need to adopt whistle-blowing as a tool for reducing corruption in the country.