Mr Benedict Agweye, the Head of Forensic, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says Nigerian youths are very important stakeholders in the anti-corruption war.
Agweye made the statement during a walk against corruption organised by EFCC in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Calabar on Friday.
According to him, the walk is to create massive awareness and engage stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
Agweye said that EFCC was engaging the youth in anti-corruption fight because they were not just stakeholders but the future leaders of Nigeria and were to carry the campaign to the next generation.
He, however, said the fight against corruption was not EFCC or NYSC’s fight alone but a fight that every Nigerian must be involved in.
“NYSC is a major stakeholder, especially when it comes to youth affairs in Nigeria. So, we feel it is a focal place where we can galvanise quite a sizeable number of youths.
“We are also engaging other stakeholders like women groups and the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the fight. This is part of operationalising the mandate of EFCC’’, ’’ he said.
Similarly, the Cross River Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Eddy Megwa in his remark, said EFCC over time had in depth synergy with NYSC.
Megwa added that no nation should get it wrong with its youths.
He noted that this was why EFCC in collaboration with the Federal Government and the NYSC was fighting the malaise.
“We need to put a stop to corruption in this country. No one is happy with the way things are; so, we need to turn things around.
“Corruption goes beyond looting funds. As a corps member, if you are supposed to be at your place of primary assignment by 8 a.m. and you are not there, that is corruption.
“It is as simple as not doing what you are supposed to do while the government is paying you to do that same thing.
“Corps members are spread all over the 18 Local Government Areas of this state. So, when they begin to carry this fight against corruption to all the nooks and crannies of this state and nation, the better for us.
A Corps member, Mr Samuel Okeke, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the walk was all about the youth standing up against corruption in Nigeria to ensure a better society.
He added that the government needed to sit up to ensure that corrupt practices were checked while efficiency and high productivity were enthroned in the system.
Miss Adenike Jacobs who was also a corps member, said the walk was good for the creation of awareness but it should not end in just walk but in practical steps to stem corruption in the nation.
NAN reports that over 2,000 youths converged at Calabar Municipality, Local Government Area (LGA) headquarters with placards that read: “corruption is worse than cancer and corruption will ruin our future if we don’t curb it now”, among others.
The procession was terminated at the popular Millennium Park in the heart of Calabar.
Similarly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in conjunction with the Kebbi Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Friday staged a state-wide rally against corruption in Kebbi.
Alhaji Mahmud Warra, the State Commissioner of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Mahmud Warra, said that the rally was aimed at enlisting public support for the fight against corruption.
Warra told the 500 NYSC members and students, who participated in the walk that the fight against corruption was all and sundry’s responsibility.
“It is very impressive to see youths and students participate in this event.
“We take into cognisance the fact that it is not the sole responsibility of the EFCC and ICPC to fight corruption; it is responsibility of all of us,” he said.
He was optimistic that the walk against corruption would serve as a morale booster to the Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against corruption in the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has already set an agenda in the fight against corruption and cannot do it alone; as we have to join hands to help him and compliments his effort toward achieving a corruption-free society,” Warra said.
The Coordinator of the NYSC in the state, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammad, said that the walk against corruption was to complement the efforts of anti -graft agencies in the fight against corrupt practices and corruption.
“We have engaged over 500 corps members in this exercise and different Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the state.
“We urge you to take the campaign to markets, motor parks, recreational centres, schools and important public places to ensure the total coverage of our walk against corruption,” Muhammad said.
Also speaking, the Representative of the EFCC, Mr Chinedu Ozugha, said that the exercise would serve as a platform to sensitise and mobilise the youth to reject the evil of corruption as well as enable them to take ownership of the fight.
“You should take the fight to the grassroots and make sure that corruption reduces to the bare minimum” he said.
He expressed delight over the turnout of NYSC members in adopting an innovative approach to their involvement in the anti-corruption crusade.
Ozugha thanked the commissioner for youth and sports development and the NYSC state coordinator for their support.
NAN reports that the participants carried placards and banners with inscriptions as “Corruption is a Killer Disease; Corruption Kills: Let Us Kill Corruption,” among others.