By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE Federal Commissioner, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) South-South, Johnson Agbonayinma has said that the fight against corruption must be sustained as he admitted that corruption has remained one of the biggest challenges facing the country.
Agbonayinma stated this when he visited the Benin office of the Bureau where also cautioned the staff against going to fill CCB forms for public officers rather than them coming to fill the same in their office just as he urged all staff to respect the organogram of the organization.
He said: “Our mandate is not only to receive assets declaration; you must be able to do verification to ascertain if their lifestyle is commensurate with their income. You are here to fight the menace of corruption and if you are doing your part, the CCB should be able to play their role. If we are doing our part well, there will be no reason why there will be complaints of corruption everywhere.
“The fight against corruption require the cooperation of everyone and President Buhari happens to stand for that, that is one of his fundamental principles that we must fight corruption and you must know that when we fight corruption, guess what, corruption will fight back but we don’t care how much it is going to fight back enough is enough, Nigeria must be free of corruption because it has eaten us deeply and we must eradicate without fear or favour no matter how highly placed you are; if you know you have skeletons, well I am sorry everyone will have to face the music.”
The former member of the House of Representatives said the CCB is expected to work underground without much noise adding that the chairman of the Bureau, Professor Muhammed Isah was leading it in that direction.
On his mission in Benin City he said: “I came here to encourage and motivate Edo State office of the CCB and for them to understand that this fight against corruption must be fought head on, there are so many lapses but we must be proactive, not reactive; you see a lot of public officers, they are billionaires and their earning is not commensurate with their life style, those who have declared their assets must be verified to ascertain if what they declared is really what they have so across the country, that is the message the CCB is sending to everyone, it is a serious matter and we are appealing to everyone because ignorance is not admissible in law, I don’t know, I forgot is not an issue, once you have failed to declare, it is a crime.
“The CCB has been since 1979 before other enforcement agencies. We are not core civil servants but enforcement agencies. Mr President has said that he has given the mandate to CCB to fight corruption, you can’t do it in Abuja alone you must come to the states so I want to see the commitment and zeal of your working ethics and capacity. We must be able to work together, you just respect the hierarchy, you must respect the authority.