Traditional leaders and community groups demand EFCC desk at communities

Traditional leaders in Abuja have demanded that the EFCC set up in FCT and local governments across the country

- The leaders say it will intensify oversight at the local level and strengthen the process of accountability by public office holders

- The call was made in Kuje area council during a town-hall meeting organised by Say No Campaign

Traditional leaders across the area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have demanded that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) desk be set up in the area councils and across the local government areas in the country.

The leaders say it will intensify oversight at the local level and strengthen the process of accountability by public office holders.

The leaders made the call on Friday, February 8 in Kuje area council during the town-hall meeting organised by anti-corruption group, Say No Campaign.

Participants, who consist of, traditional rulers, religious groups, youth, women groups, vigilantes, and the leadership of the area councils, insisted that while attention is concentrated at the centre, severe acts of corruption are ongoing at the local governments and area councils unchecked and the absence of the anti-corruption agencies in these communities make it extremely difficult for members to report or follow up on a petition.

While discussing approaches to combating corruption, participants noted that an anti-corruption fight must begin with addressing the root cause of corruption, which is highly embedded in poverty and unemployment, and government has a major responsibility in that regard.

They stressed that honesty and integrity will be meaningless to a hungry man who is unjustly treated and has a huge debt to pay.

They also advised on improved remuneration of public servants by the government to reflect the economic reality of the day, as only then will individuals be encouraged to desist from enabling corruption or selling of votes, giving the opportunity.

Community members bemoaned the reckless abandonment and non implementation of projects across the area councils, blaming it on lack of active oversight by community members.

Hence, they resolved to set up a community anticorruption monitoring group that will facilitate an effective monitoring of projects to combat the ruthless diversion of funds in communities across the FCT.

At Bwari area council, participants observed that retail corruption, as perpetrated by artisans, has equal disastrous effect on the society.

Some of these fraudulent acts as reported involved adulterating and injecting food items with harmful chemicals and substances to forcefully ripen and boost their appearances.

While calling on government to set up legislation to curb these fraudulent practices to protect the health of unsuspecting Nigerians, participants urged members to imbibe the culture of honesty and integrity in their affairs.

Similarly, participants applauded Say No Campaign for providing a platform for brainstorming ways of tackling corruption at the grassroots, stressing that to win an anti-corruption fight, both the people and the government must be sincere and committed, the fight must be happening concurrently, both at the top and bottom.

Meanwhile, a group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on the federal government to protect whistle blowers in Kano state against victimization.

In the video, Governor Ganduje was seen receiving what seemed like dollar currencies in bundles from an individual. The video suggests the governor was receiving bribe payment from a contractor handling construction works in the state.

The CSOs cautioned that is important that Jafaar and the contractor, are given every support needed to ensure that they are not victimized by the agents of the Kano state government.

Source: scooperapp/radar

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