Former Governor of Edo State, Comraade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, lamented the celebration of corruption and the corrupt in the society by Nigerians and called for a change of attitude if Nigeria must make progress.
The labour activist and politician, who was Guest Speaker at a 2-day National Anti-Corruption Stakeholders’ Summit organized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, at the Commission’s Academy, Karu, Abuja, asked all Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari to stamp out corruption from the system.
The summit, which has as its theme “Building National Anti-Corruption Consensus in a Multi-Agency Environment”, is designed to engage a host of stakeholders to brainstorm on ways of addressing pertinent national issues.
Oshiomhole said, “The Nigerian condition cannot change by lamenting it. Our roads will never be better, our rails will not function, our airport will remain the way they are, and our schools will remain the way they are or probably get even worse, because of the level of corruption and the impact on our national development, particularly in the area of infrastructure”.
“I believe that no amount of efforts can be too much in sustaining a conversation across the country about what each and every one of us can do to deal with this question of corruption.”
Oshiomhole, who described corruption fight as the most difficult and challenging job in Nigeria, however praised Ibrahim Magu on his achievements so far as the Acting Chairman of the EFCC and asked the agency to extend its dragnet to all sectors of the economy so as to weed out corruption.
The former governor urged the anti-graft agency not to despair as there can be no war without causalities.
“There cannot be war without casualties. Gun is not made as a symbolic weapon. You fire, and there must be casualty. If there is no casualty, it is either that something is wrong with the gun or something is wrong with the person behind the gun.
“So war is supposed to lead to an outcome. So how can we be fighting corruption and yet there are no victims,” Oshiomhole wondered.
Earlier, Magu in his welcome address said that the summit was necessary as Nigeria was at a critical phase in its evolution as a nation having identified corruption as the greatest challenge undermining its development.
Magu said, “What we have lacked in the past is the commitment to make the difference. I believe that we are uniquely placed to change the narrative as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.
While reaffirming the preparedness of the EFCC under his watch to lead the war against graft without fear or favour Magu said, “I am irrevocably committed to leading the young men and women of the Commission in taking the fight to the doorsteps of those who have looted the treasury and mortgaged our common patrimony.
“There will be no hiding places, every kobo taken illegally from the treasury would be traced, recovered and returned.”
In his goodwill message, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, commended Magu, describing him as a man of integrity.
“Magu is a great man of integrity. I have known him since 1997. Magu’s EFCC seized my money, but still invited me to this summit. That shows a large heart on his part,” Ozekhome said.
He called on all anti-corruption agencies not to make the fight against corruption selective saying, “there should be no sacred cow”.
Ayuba waba, NLC President, said, “Nigeria has all it takes to arrive at a level of greatness, but the challenge is that, these resources have actually been misused.