A political activist, Comrade Timi Frank, has called on the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, to make the positive overhaul and transformation of the agency his cardinal goal.
Frank, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, congratulated Bawa on his confirmation for appointment by the Senate even as he pleaded with Bawa who is 40 years old not to disappoint the youths.
The former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), lauded Bawa for acknowledging the fact that his appointment is a hope raiser for youths in governance.
“As a youth, you cannot afford to fail in this noble assignment. You can only succeed if you stay focused and work in the national interest,” the Bayelsa-born political activist said.
He said it was time for the anti-graft body to conscientiously and faithfully discharge its constitutional responsibilities of checkmating corruption towards enhancing national development.
“The primary mandate of the EFCC is to curtail corruption both in public and private spaces. This ideal must not be lost on you as its chief executive officer.
“The EFCC should work for Nigeria and Nigerians, not a few privileged persons in position of authority. Fight corruption everywhere and not in selected places or persons.
“We look forward to an EFCC that would work to enthrone probity, transparency and accountability in all facet of our national life.
“We want an EFCC that will not single out members of one political party or ethnic group for investigation and prosecution or persecution.
“Anybody suspected to have abused his office by helping himself from the public purse should be investigated and prosecuted irrespective of his political leaning, ethnicity or creed.
“We want an EFCC that would be accountable and transparent in its dealings as an agency while fighting to ensure accountability and probity in public service and private sector.
“We want an EFCC that would be disciplined, apolitical and that operates within the ambits of the laws of the land.
“As a youth, your success or failure would either motivate or de-motivate Nigerian youths estimated at 64 million by the National Bureau of Statistics in its 2012 National Youth Baseline Survey report.
“Work in such a manner that Nigerians, especially the youths, will say ‘we are proud of EFCC under Bawa!’
“Let your assumption of office mark the end of impunity, utter disregard for the rule of law and abuse of the fundamental human rights of citizens by operatives of the commission.
“Learn from the successes and failures of your predecessors in office. Eight years is not forever!
“Let your tenure herald a blaze of glory and not hailstones of condemnation for the agency. Your address during your confirmation hearing shows that have all it takes to succeed and Nigerian youths are looking forward to the positive transformation of the agency under your leadership.
“Don’t be swayed by accolades or dazed by condemnations because uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Restore the lost glory of the commission by changing its present negative narratives to positive.
“Know that the agency is greater than individual operatives. Operatives will come and go but the EFCC will remain. Work for the agency. Work for the country. Work for posterity,” Frank declared.
He assured the EFCC chief of the preparedness of Nigerian youths to partner with him to succeed in the anti-corruption war.
“Be rest assured that the youths are willing to support you to succeed in the fight against corruption and I urge to give them the opportunity to do so.
“However, the youths will not also fail to criticise your action or inaction that may deviate or offend their high hopes and enthusiasm of having one of theirs in that crucial position,” he declared.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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