By Paul Adaji (JUDICIAL CORRESPONDENT)-
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has reiterated the need to build public ownership of the anti-corruption fight as a way of making the campaign more effective. public ownership
Maiduguri Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Egbodofo Olumide, made the assertion on Saturday in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, while addressing a Town Hall meeting on anti-corruption organized by an NGO, Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC).
The theme of the Town Hall Meeting, organised in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, was: “Community participation in the fight against corruption in Nigeria using local language.”
Speaking at the event, which brought together Journalists, CSOs, security agencies, religious bodies, traditional and religious leaders, Olumide said that such a measure would make local communities and citizens see the fight as their responsibility, to design, implement and evaluate, as well as defend it when attacked by corrupt individuals and their collaborators.
He said: “Respected local figures such as religious and community leaders are major stakeholders in the quest to combat the menace of corruption and the must lend their voices in the fight, as well as help influence their people to join the fight against corruption.
“Furthermore, monitoring and evaluation of strategies put in place to combat corruption must be consistently done for easy adaptation as situations on ground change.
“Therefore, you are encouraged to say something when you see any form of corruption being perpetrated. ”
The Team Lead of WAMAC, Mr Zubair Abdurra’uf, In his address, said a sensitization programme on corruption is to be held in all the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, as part of measures to promote good governance and accountability.
According to Abdurra’uf, the essence of the town hall meeting was to make “an appraisal of the new concept of fighting corruption, through citizen participation in governance and enhancing community interface on investigative journalism.”
“We are happy to note here that the programme on anti-corruption on Peace FM Maiduguri in Kanuri and Hausa has started yielding results as the general public are demanding for accountability, ” Abdurra’uf said.
While urging community leaders and NGOs to cooperate with Journalists on investigative reports aimed at exposing all forms of corruption, Abdurra’uf lauded the Borno Government for making civil servants more proactive in service delivery and accountability in the state.
“Few months ago, a commissioner was fired on alleged corruption and of recent, health workers found wanting were suspended.
“Citizens can emulate this giant stride in our collective drive to rid our society of corruption and entrench good governance and accelerated development, ” he said.
Some of the resolutions reached at the meeting included the need for an ‘Offenders Register’, to name and shame all convicted corrupts persons irrespective of their political or religious standing.
The meeting also resolved to promote the need for communities to monitor and report wrongdoings in the execution of projects in their localities.
(With additional report by NAN)