The Movement Against Corruption (MAC), a coalition of over 60 Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, on Wednesday called for the strengthening of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for proper service delivery.
Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, Steering Committee Chairman of MAC, said at a rally against corruption in Ikeja, Lagos that EFCC needed to be better equipped to be able to perform its duties optimally.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the rally, with the theme, “RED CARD AGAINST CORRUPTION’’, took off from Ikeja roundabout, and saw the group members going through Awolowo Road to the state secretariat in Alausa.
MAC says its mission is to take ownership of the war against corruption and help in preventing the scourge in the country.
Okei-Odumakin said though the government was doing much to fight corruption, there was the need to put in more effort.
“If we look at the humongous looted amount that is being recovered daily, if this entire amount is put in the health sector, education, etc, we would not have people sending their children outside the country for education.
“And in terms of health, our people will not need to travel out for medicare. We need our money back.
“We are not here to call for people to be repatriated; rather, what we should do is to strengthen the EFCC and ensure it cooperates with the government of United Kingdom so that all that needs to be realised will be made easy,’’ she said.
Okei-Odumakin urged federal lawmakers to help by making laws that would strengthen institutions that are fighting corruption.
Mr Inibeghe Effiong, Steering Committee Member of MAC, called on all arms of government to be involved in the fight against corruption.
“All arms of government and organs of government must be involved in the fight against corruption.
“The challenge, however, is that we see a situation where people talk about corruption as if it is just in Abuja; how about corruption in the local government, in the states, in the banking sector and in other spheres of the society?
“We at MAC are determined to ensure that the organs of government are committed to this fight. We are determined to ensure the National Assembly passes laws that could enhance the fight against corruption,’’ Effiong said.
He urged the people to support the anti-corruption agencies saying “ if the fight against corruption fails, all of us have failed, because we will not have healthcare, education, and other amenities’’.
Mr Malachy Ugwumadu, a Rights Activist and a Lawyer, called on the government to intensify the fight against w cases of corruption to be treated faster.
“The state under Sec 15, sub-section 5 of the constitution of Nigeria, has the responsibility to stop corruption; we need cases of corruption to move faster than it is going in the country.
“We will not stop our agitation until we are sure that corruption is killed in this country,’’ Ugwumadu said.
The State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Seye Oladejo, who received the protesters on behalf of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, promised that the concerns of the group would be conveyed to the federal government.
“The situation in Nigeria today is unfortunate; we regard this group as friend of Nigeria and friend of this state.
“Corruption is endemic in Nigeria and has eaten deep into our lives, even in religious gatherings.
“If we don’t join hands to kill corruption, it will kill us. We have no other country.
“We assure you of the full support of the Lagos State in tackling corruption and we assure you that we will take it to the Federal Government,’’ Oladejo said.