Mr Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday said that women were vital to success in the fight against corruption in the country.
Magu spoke at the Nigerian Women Against Corruption (WAC), South-West Project Rollout, organised by the commission in collaboration with the Office of the Wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari, in Lagos.
Newsmen report that the WAC project was flagged-off on Dec. 7, 2016 in Abuja by the First Lady.
The EFCC boss blamed corruption for the current recession and the falling value of the Naira, saying it had become a threat to the survival of the nation.
He said that corruption had eroded many benefits Nigerians were supposed to be enjoying from the nation’s natural resources.
”We cannot sit and continue to watch our country drift into intolerable poverty. It is time to act!
”In this task, we can only look in the direction of women, who naturally are gifted with the power to raise and nurture generations of people. “They hold the key to the success of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
”Women have the power to change the destiny of our nation. I must say that we have taken the right step by inviting women to build the foundation for a sustainable national development, ” Magu said.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, in her address, identified poverty, unemployment, economic downturn and social disorder as the negative effects of corruption in the country.
Adebule commended the EFCC for recognising the role of women in nation building, especially in the fight against corruption.
”Women are effective agents to intensify the awareness across the nation, to tame the virus called corruption. “A woman who has the ability to build her home can build a successful nation,” she said.
In her keynote address, Mrs Ayo Obe, a Human Rights lawyer, said corruption had been viewed to be a normal and natural pattern of being a Nigerian while integrity had become an oddity.
”We need to erase this impression and go back to the basics, and women are in the best position to set that moral pace that will restore our values and our country, ”Obe said.
The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said corruption was a manifestation of deficient moral values.
”I will, therefore, lend my voice to this campaign by appealing to mothers to pay proper attention to the home and bring up our children with values of honesty, integrity, trust, fear of God and dignity of labour.
”If we succeed as individuals in our various homes, there will be no room for corruption and corrupt practices in the larger society,” Ambode said.
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, also spoke at the event. She said sanctions were important in tackling corruption in the country.
Dabiri-Erewa urged women to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war to tame the corruption monster.
She also said it was wrong for citizens to celebrate corruption.
“Enough is enough; never again should we go back to celebrating corruption. We are women of integrity and if we have contentment, we have everything,” she said.
Pastor Folu Adeboye, wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, said there was the need to start the fight against corruption from the home.
According to her, this can be done by discouraging any act, behaviour or attitude that aids and abets corruption.
Adeboye said that God is still the same and will deal with people involved in corrupt practices as recorded in the Bible. She said that Nigeria would rise again.
Mrs Gloria Laraba, President, National Council for Women Affairs (NCWA), urged the women to stand by EFCC and assist in fighting corruption.
“We should start killing corruption from our home. Some parents have favourites, which is the beginning of corruption,’’ she said.
Mrs Wuraola Ogunnusi, wife of the Ooni of Ife, said corruption had eaten deep into the country’s system, and it was the responsibility of everyone to fight against it.
“As women, we are wired to be sensitive, watchful and we pay attention to details.
“All of these can be channelled into our responsibility of fighting corruption.
“It is not too late; we can be the change we hope to see in our society,” she said.
Present at the event were wives of the South-West governors; the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Mrs Nike Akande, President Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries, among others.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the WAC Logo.