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Anti-corruption Fight: CSOs express views on FG’s whistle-blower policy





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Whistle-blowers

…calls on EFCC boss to revive, apply policy

  By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA-AS anti-corruption remains a cardinal agenda of the Buhari-led administration, Civil Society Organisations, CSO, Sunday, expressed views on Federal Government’s whistle-blower policy introduced to effectively fight corruption in the country as it concerns evapouration of steam the policy came with and what should be done by the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to revive it in this renewed spirit by the Federal Government to rescue Nigeria and Nigerians from the monster.

If no sanctions fight against corruption won’t work- ActionAid

The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, said, “The Federal Government is to blamed for the failure of the whistle-blower policy because of government’s approach that led to failure on the implementation of the said policy.

“It will be good if the new EFCC Chairman takes it and he has the political back of the presidency and the judiciary.

“Without visible sanctions, nothing works, and no Nigerian will believe the fight against corruption.

“We need practical examples, cases proven must be prosecuted. There is need for complete turn around and sanitisation of our systems to make them work.

Collapse of whistle-blowing policy, failure on govt’s part- CDNDC

The Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CDNDC, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said, “The policy on whistle-blowing was an anti-corruption programme designed to obtain information on financial malpractice, fraud and theft, deemed to be in the public interest; conversely, its collapse could be attributed to the pervasive corruption in the Buhari administration, which succeeded in undermining the policy to a state of inaction.

“The will to implement the whistle-blower policy was made powerless by politics, after it started outing members of the APC who engaged in corrupt practices and whose hands were caught in the cookie jar, while President Buhari failed to show interest beyond going after members of the last administration.

“As long as state agents and actors who were responsible for the collapse of the whistle-blower policy are still in the saddle of governance, it will be impossible to nurse any hope of revival, except there is a complete overhauling of government, leading to the weeding out of bad eggs; or the new EFCC Chairman decides to revive it under a new framework.”

FG’s insincerity responsible for collapse of whistle-blowing policy-CN

The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, said, “The reason why the whistle-blowing collapsed was because of government’s insincerity to fight corruption; loots were relooted, the former EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu was also accused of corruption. So you can see that there is no enthusiasm on the part of the Nigerian people.

“It is just a leadership problem. When the body language of the President suggests that he condones corruption so why should Nigerians join in any fight against corruption.

“For the new EFCC chairman, let him show the will to fight corruption and let him start with the APC, and people will take him serious, but if he is to go after the opposition people will take him for a joke.”

Whistle-blower policy was designed to fool Nigerians-PMNN

The Founder, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, Yahaya Ndu, said, “Honestly I see absolutely nothing to give me the impression that this Government is interested in fighting corruption and to me that is stating the obvious.

“Did a former National Chairman of the ruling party say openly that once you join the ruling party that your sins are forgiven?

“Is that the kind of utterance you expect from the National Chairman of a ruling party that is interested in fighting corruption?

“The ruling party told Nigerians and the world that the previous Government and the immediate past President was an embodiment of corruption.

“Today the same ruling party or rather state Governors of the ruling party are visiting the former President and everywhere it is common knowledge that same ruling party is considered making him their presidential candidate and you are asking about whistle-blower principles which to me amount to nothing and just designed to fool the masses.

“Please let us stop wasting our time as to if this Government is fighting corruption when we already know the answer but rather concentrate on bringing a new administration in power come 2023 that will be serious about fighting corruption

“Everywhere you look, South East, South West, South-South, North Central, North West and North East, you see confirmed thieves many of whom as previous governors of their states have looted the state treasuries and those who should be in maximum security prisons are gallivanting all-over the place campaigning to be president and you are asking about whistle blower policy?

Buhari-led govt didn’t protect, boost morale of whistle-blowers-OLF

The Founder and President of One Love Foundation, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, said, “Firstly, let me remind Nigerians about the whistle blowing policy. It is the novel idea of the current administration in curtailing corruption in the country.

“It is an anti-corruption programme that encourages people to voluntarily disclose information about fraud, bribery, looted government funds, financial misconduct, government assets and any other form of corruption or theft to a designated government agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“The whistle-blower who provides genuine information is rewarded or entitled to 2.5% to five per cent of the recovered funds by the federal government. On the contrary, the whistle blower risk jail terms if the information provided is false. Indeed, there have significant victories in the battle against corruption since the whistle blowing policy came into effect.

“The problem of corruption is not unique to Nigeria or the developing countries of the world.

“However, it is paramount to confront our problems as a nation squarely if Nigeria is to occupy her once prestigious position in the comity of nations. No great nation succeeds when corruption thrives. The whistle blowing policy is therefore, a step in the right direction.

“The failure of this policy rests principally on the government, and then, the people. As Nigerians have already caught the fever of this policy, the Buhari-government did not protect and boost the morale of whistle blowers.

“The whistle blowers were supposed to be duly protected and should not have been denied their fair share of whatever that was recovered as alleged by many.

“In the nutshell, making the country great is the obligation of every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion, social or political class. A lot of sentiments contributed to the failure of the policy.

“Some people felt a particular tribe or religion was targeted; hence, their decision not to participate in the policy in other not to expose someone of the same religion or tribe – which is not supposed to be so. It’s totally wrong.

“On what should be done: Corruption has been an existential problem in Nigeria since independence. During discourses on corruption, attempts are often made to trace the origin of this debilitating disease that continues to plague the Nigerian society.

“Some scholars are of the opinion that it is the vestige of a colonial legacy. As such, the rise of public administration and the discovery of oil are often cited as the major events that have led to the sustained increase in the incidence of corrupt practices in the country.

“However, it goes without saying that, the deep inadequacies arising from a lack of strong institutions and the near collapse and failure of state institutions have provided a veritable breeding ground for corruption.

“Aside the negative effect of corruption on the nation’s polity, what is saddening is the blighted image of the nation on the international scene.

“Principally, to revive the policy, the government should do so without any protection of vested interests; deal with the massive corruption in the judiciary and law enforcement agencies

“Thirdly, I think the President meant well. But what happened like I pointed earlier is their attempt to protect some vested interests that contributed to their electoral victory. Secondly, some people in the Judiciary and law enforcement agencies were well compromised.

“Lastly, I support the policy and recommend it if it will be devoid of sentiments like witch-hunting the opposition, those that criticizes the government, and others.”

Nigerians should continue to blow whistle- AFAN

The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, said, “It has to do with our mindset. If the opportunity to be able to blow the whistle is available and we are bold enough to blow it then by all means we should go ahead.

“I am not aware that the opportunity has been withdrawn. It is you and I that should simply exploit it even if it is mere politics as you alluded.

“The Nigerian psyche, unfortunately, is generally reductive in that most of us limit our horizons to ourselves and not the entire populace.

“You blow the whistle against a wrong that affects the system and not yourself so if a price has to be paid for that then we should be prepared to do that even if it portends the loss of our lives for the generality of the people to prosper.

“We must be serious as Nigerians to really take advantage of the Whistle blowing opportunity.

“The new EFCC Chairman has a golden opportunity in the Whistle Blowing policy and I advise him to take it!”

Vanguard News Nigeria 

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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