Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Oyo State, have reaffirmed their support for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the task of fighting economic and financial crimes and other acts of corruption
According to the Head, Media & Publicity of EFCC, Dele Oyewale, in a statement, the affirmation was made in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the “EFCC/CSOs Engagement” programme held in the State.
Executive Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, lauded the strategic roles CSOs are playing in the fight against corruption, stating that engagement with them was to share ideas on how to deepen the fight against corruption.
The EFCC boss, who spoke through the Ibadan Zonal Commander, Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE1 Halima Mustapha Rufa’u, expressed appreciation to the CSOs for reviews of the Commission’s works so as to enhance its performance.
“You are one of the most critical allies of the EFCC. Our partnership has been progressive and is still evolving. We greatly value your critical reviews as they have ensured that we remain faithful to the Nigerian people in the discharge of our mandate,” he said.
He further urged them to continue to align themselves with the progressive aspirations of Nigerians for corruption to be reduced to the barest minimum if not completely eliminated.
In her Speech, Deputy Director, Creative Communications, DCE Nwayinma Okeano, challenged CSOs to correct people’s misconceptions about EFCC’s anti-corruption activities in their various communities.
“Reorient the public about what we do. Let me say clearly that no crime is too big or too small. The same way we are arresting politicians is also the same way we are arresting internet fraudsters.”
She reassured them that the EFCC is open to the public, urging them to always send complaints and petitions using various communication channels.
The CSOs, on their part, came up with suggestions in areas they think the EFCC can explore.
Dr. Rosemary Odigbo, one of the arrowheads of the group, stressed that the fight against corruption should not be left to the EFCC alone, pointing out that all citizens and stakeholders have roles to play through strategic partnerships. She enjoined the Commission to explore other areas in sending the anti-corruption message, such as entertainment, social media, partnering with telecommunication organizations, frequent town hall meetings, and creating and sustaining advocacy groups, among others.
Discussions also centred on how to incorporate corruption studies into school curricula across the country.
“As parents, it is our duty to start this fight from home when our children are young, encourage them to learn handwork to earn a living, because unemployment is one of the reasons why a lot of our youths are into crimes.
“We also want EFCC to go after musicians and celebrities promoting yahoo practices in their songs and lifestyle. We want the Commission to work more with the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), and the National Film and Video Censor Board for the regulation of contents that are not edifying the public.”
At the end of the interaction, a Communiqué to help strengthen the working relationship between the EFCC and CSOs in the Ibadan Zonal Command was issued.