2011: EFCC, CCB Vow to Stop Corrupt Politicians

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) have vowed to stop politicians currently being investigated or prosecuted for corruption from contesting the 2011 general elections. 

The Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri and her CCB counterpart, Mr. Sam Saba, said this when board members of the bureau visited the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday”. PUNCH: By Akin Oyedele, Ibadan Friday, 27 Aug 2010

The Niger Delta International Initiative (NDII) is very happy with this recent development on fight against corruption in our nation.  If these agencies really mean what they are saying, then, this is the beginning of poverty reduction for the masses and job creation for millions of jobless Nigerians. 

EFCC is noted for hot words and non-performance, this agency is looked upon as toothless bulldog that can only bark but can’t bite, and the agency’s threats are always viewed as mere ranting.

Nonetheless, NDII has called upon the Government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to show more commitment towards fighting corruption and fraud through these agencies.  NDII has suggested through Open Letters to Mr. President to either dissolve EFCC or restructure the agency; including other non-functional agencies, such as Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).  For now, EFCC is a child’s play and a joke, so also is Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).  This is true because there are many scapegoats and many sacred cows in the nation, the agencies are not fair and they are bias.  We can’t win the war on corruption if the trend continues and presently, the entire nation is soaked in corruption.  As noted, the high poverty level in the nation is exacerbated by poor and corrupt leadership from banking sector, the judiciary, the law enforcement agencies, the Local Governments, the States Government and to the Federal Government.  This problem can be resolved by promoting the Rule of Law in the nation.   Corruption is now a national malaise and has eaten deep into the fabric of the society.  Nigeria would develop only when the issue of corruption has been seriously tackled, and this required effective judiciary system and effective law enforcement agencies.

As of today, our judiciary system is non-functional, like the EFCC, our judiciary system is a joke and a mockery to the nation.  Also, NDII suggests to Mr. President to initiate a National Legal Reform Programs to revitalization the judiciary system in the nation.  The National Legal Reform Programs is aimed at promoting the Rule of Law.  It should be noted that our judiciary system is even more corrupt than the political system.  As noted, most of the judicial officers in the country are unfit to remain on the bench for reasons ranging from ineptitude, low productivity, incompetence to involvement in monumental corruption.  What a shame.  NDII believes that the promotion of the rule of law is the most effective long-term antidote to the most pressing problems facing Nigeria today, including poverty, Niger Delta crisis, ethnic and religious violence, endemic corruption and disregard for human rights.

Furthermore, NDII highly suggests that the Federal Government seek external assistance from Britain and the United States of America in training and restructuring the judiciary, the police department, the road safety department, the customs, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).  The retraining of the law enforcement agencies at the least will reduce police brutality and jungle justice on defenseless citizens as seen in the religious crisis in Maiduguri.  The revitalization of the Rule of Law is required to address the abuse of power by high ranking government officials including the Governors, the ministers, the commissioners, local government chairmen, etc. and reduce excessive corruption, which is now a culture/the way of life in the nation. 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a critical role to play in fighting corruption, especially, making sure that the States Party Chairmen are not hand-picked by the current Governors, and that the best candidates are nominated for election.   This is a litmus test and a challenge to INEC.  If the agency is successful in conducting a fair and free poll come 2011, it will effect the election of credible individuals to leadership positions and prevents the incompetent individuals and mediocres from achieving their selfish goals.  As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. 

In addition, NDII suggests that Mr. President devoid himself of sycophants.  NDII encourages PDP and other parties to strive in nominating and supporting the best candidates in the party from the Local Government to Federal Government in the forthcoming general election.

In another note, neither Goodluck Jonathan nor his camp should allow the failed Governors under the Kwara State Governor Dr. Bukola Saraki to blackmail them.  NDII believes that Goodluck Jonathan is still a better candidate as opposed to any other candidate in PDP.  Most of the Governors under the leadership of the Kwara State Governor can’t even pay the workers in their state and they are as corrupt as hell, and the state infrastructures of these Governors are non-functional.  Therefore, these Governors are not fit for a second term.  Blackmailing the President and his camp will not work.  Nigerians know what they need, and NDII believes that most Nigerians need Goodluck Jonathan as their President come 2011.  NDII believes that all President Goodluck Jonathan has to do is to be more aggressive, vibrant and act fast because public opinion polls by NDII point to the President’s non-aggressiveness towards his administrative activities.  The solution to Nigerians social and economic problems requires aggressive and a radical approach.  

In conclusion, it is true that at this point in time, Nigerians need transformational leaders with the capacity, commitment and courage to drive the essential reforms required to place Nigeria on the path of sustainable social and economic developments. 

You are Blessed,

Dr. Chukwuma O. Nwaonicha, Director NDII