The Head Public Affairs, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Ibadan Zonal Office, Ayo Oyewole has appealed to traditional institutions to join in the whistle-blowing campaign against corruption assuring them of their protection.
Oyewole said this at the Anti-corruption Town Hall for Traditional and Religious Leaders organized by Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) supported Action Aid, UKaid, Department for International Development and SCRAP-C held yesterday at Presken Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The workshop tagged Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption had in attendance over 100 persons from different traditional and religious institutions. It’s also witness the launch of Religious leader’s Anti-Corruption Network.
He said that EFCC is committed in the fight against corruption in Nigeria and we call for support and cooperation of all Nigerians including religious and traditional institutions to join in the fight against corruption within their domain.
He noted that traditional and religious leaders can partner with the agency by providing intelligent and verifiable information and the agency will acts accordingly.
He said that anybody that comes with intelligent information found to be true will be rewarded and protected, stressed that whistle blowers must be discreet with the information that they give.
He however warned that whistle blowers should do their due diligence and never acts on hearsay but ensure that the information they are given are true.
Oyewole added that information on financial crimes must not be given to anybody in the agency but senior officers like him, noting that whistle blowers should manage their tongue well and not divulge confidential information in public spaces as their life might be endanger.
He restated that the agency commitment in operating best international standards in its operation.
Earlier in his presentation, the State Chairman of National Orientation Agency, Waheed Ishola charged religious leaders to preach more of salvation rather than prosperity.
He said that it is sad that many religious centres worship money and celebrates persons whose sources of wealth are unknown and shady.
Ishola appealed to religious leaders to be alive to their responsibilities of letting their congregation know the ill involves in being corrupt.
In his words, the Executive Director of PAACA, Mr Ezenwa Nwangwu said that the aimed of the programme is to enlist traditional and religious institutions in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
He said that from research, we have discovered that citizens have outsource the anti corruption fight to the government and thus do not see it as a personal fight and unfortunately the consequence of corruption is more grave on the people than the government.
He noted that religious leaders have a lot of work to do in stemming the tide of corruption in our country, stressing that they cannot be missing in action as the ones lies on them as the moral custodians of the society.
Nwangwu posited that it will be tantamount to ineptitude for them to be indifferent on this matter as some people tend to do.
He said “traditional must take particular interest in issues that concerns them which include the length and breadth of this country are abandoned projects, abandoned roads, health care centres, youths centres.
He added that getting this thing fix do not requires meetings but the determination by the community themselves to find out who are the contractors that have abandoned the projects and demands that the projects be carried out.
He cited the ICPC Constituency working Group where we have found out Senators, who diverted agricultural project equipments and health care facilities equipment to their houses and farms have seen been retrieved and given them back to the people.
Nwangwu who pointed out that the fight against corruption should start from ourselves in our different community, added that proper monitoring of projects by community leaders would curb corruption.