The Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu asked Nigerians to be courageous to expose the corrupt elements in the society.
He also advised Nigerian media to take ownership of the fight against corruption.
He said the EFCC cannot succeed in carrying out its mandate without the support of the media.
Magu made the plea at an interactive forum with media influencers and other stakeholders in Abuja.
According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC chairman said the task of fighting economic and financial crimes was painstaking and broad-based.
He said the anti-corruption was should be embraced by all strata of the society with the media serving as channel of communication and enlightenment.
Magu said: “Everything that is wrong with Nigeria as a country is traceable to corruption. The media’s potential to inform and educate the people is crucial for us. We believe that on our own, we cannot win the war against corruption without a buy-in by the people.
“This is where the support of the media comes in. We need the media to help sensitize the people on the ills of corruption and economic crimes.
He added that the time had come when Nigerians must increase the tempo of the fight against corruption and move the country to the next level.
He pleaded with the media to do more by “exposing corrupt elements in the society especially now that the election year draws near.
“I beg you, expose the corrupt and we will come after them. Nobody is above the law. We are concerned about the future of the unborn generation. Nobody can deter us.
“We must not celebrate the corrupt, we must not celebrate corruption, we must be courageous and stand for what is right”.
Speaking at the event, a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwezili, asked the EFCC not to be distracted by what she termed as ‘forces of corruption fighting back’.
She called on the government to effect “institutional changes and redirect its policies for a better Nigeria”.
Mrs. Ezekwezili advised EFCC to always live above board by being transparent and fair in its dealings. She also advised the agency to always keep the public abreast of its activities by constantly updating its cases.
The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Lauretta Onochie, while commending the EFCC boss for a job well done, urged Nigerians to stand up against corruption by preventing corrupt elements seeking elections into public offices from getting to power.
The Executive Director CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani, identified media’s role alongside that of Labour and CSOs as strategic to winning the fight against corruption.
He advised EFCC to collaborate with lawyers, bankers, accountants and auditors in subsequent engagements because “they are the tools mostly used to perpetrate acts of corruption”.
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