Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Malam Nuhu Ribadu has raised an alarm over plans by some highly placed individuals to “frustrate the work of those who are genuinely committed in reversing the ugly trend” of fighting corruption in the country.
The former anti-graft czar also revealed that “as this unholy alliance of corrupt people in and out of government takes root,” ordinary Nigerians will be the victims.
Speaking Tuesday in Abuja at an event organised by Connected Development (CODE), a watchdog group providing information on how money given by government will be spent, Ribadu said some Nigerians who are supposed to be part of efforts at restitution were colluding with those who have stolen the country’s commonwealth.
According to Ribadu, “there is no doubt that the current anti-corruption regime in the country is working. We have seen the feat attained in recent past and the ongoing effort to stall it,” adding that “Nigerians must take a stand between those who are working diligently to get back our stolen monies and those who are poised to scuttle such efforts.
“We are witnessing essentially a classical case of state capture in which individuals, including those in high public office, use their position to undermine the state and its policies because of their personal interest.
“Unfortunately, some people who supposed to be part of efforts at restitution are colluding with those who have stolen our commonwealth to frustrate the work of those who are genuinely committed in reversing the ugly trend. And as this unholy alliance of corrupt people in and out of government takes root, it is us, the ordinary Nigerians, that are the victims.
“Those who have been a stumbling block to the war against corruption clearly do not understand or feel the biting impact of corruption. If they do, they would not put up the kind of resistance we are currently witnessing in the efforts to make a success of the anti-corruption war.
“Yes, you may not like someone’s face or even disagree with his strategy but that should never be a reason for you to reject fundamental truths and the good things that such a person is doing. It is also no excuse for you to personalize your duty or responsibility or undermine efforts that are beneficial to us as a country.”
While commending the group for what he called a massive difference, Ribadu added that “For democracy to evolve, for citizens to yield the full benefit of good governance, citizens involvement at the grassroots is essential. In modern governance, citizens are not meant to take the back seat. Indeed, citizens must take the lead, set the agenda and monitor implementation of government programmes, if they are to witness the kind of society they aspire to.”
The group, popularly called “follow the money” is a platform where conscious Nigerians could engage the government at all levels, especially on how public fund is used.