EFCC seeks support of traditional institutions to combat crime

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has solicited the support of traditional institutions to fight corruption to a standstill in the country.

Consequently, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, pledged his support and cooperation to the EFCC, in the fight against corruption, saying the greatest gift the EFCC could give to the country is recovering the nation’s stolen wealth.

The first-class Monarch revealed this while playing host to the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, in his palace in Oyo State.

Magu was represented by the Ibadan Zonal Head, Mr Friday Ebelo, who led other top officials of the Commission to seek the collaboration and support of the Monarch in the fight against corruption as part of the plans to enlist people at the grassroots, on the anti-corruption war.

Oba Adeyemi advised the EFCC to be more discreet and confidential in the fight against corruption, saying the successes recorded by the agency has gone a long way in helping to restore confidence in the image of the country.

“Whether we like it or not, we must serve you, we must encourage you, we must support you, cooperate with you; otherwise what will kill Nigeria is corruption. The fear of EFCC is driving some looters to several parts of the world, but you have been going after them and catching them. There is no hiding place for them and I want to commend you,” he said.

The Alaafin, who alleged that the 8th National Assembly frustrated the confirmation of the appointment of Magu because they (the lawmakers) had skeletons in their cupboards, enjoined the team not to be discouraged in the face of harassment and intimidation.

He said, “I want to tell you that this nation depends upon you and you should not let the structure fall. Intimidation, harassment, you will face a lot of problems on your ways, you have to travel far and wide and discover fraud and you get these people through your brilliant and aggressive style, but it is very painstaking.”

While pledging his support and cooperation to the Commission, the Alaafin revealed that for the past 48 years that he had been on the throne, he had served many governments and leaders closely and knew the implication of confidentiality.

Oba Adeyemi stated: “What will make the system work either you are in government or EFCC is that there must be confidentiality and secrecy of information. The greatest joy I derive was my service and contributions to my people. The greatest benefit you can give to us in this nation is to make sure that you catch all these people, wherever they are, dig them out.”

Speaking earlier, the Ibadan Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr Ebelo, told the Monarch that the team’s visit was at the instance of the Commission’s acting Chairman, who has decided to engage the traditional institutions across the country in the campaign against corruption in order to effectively get the message to the grassroots, assuring the monarch that Magu would soon visit him personally.

Ebelo said, “The EFCC Ibadan Zonal Office is visiting the Alaafin of Oyo on behalf of EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to rally the traditional institutions’ support in the fight against corruption and other issues coming up in recent times. We now have cybercrime and internet-related frauds that youths of late are getting themselves involved in.”

The Zonal Head disclosed that the purpose of the visit is to intimate the Alaafin with the new development and solicit his support so that he could use his exalted throne to get the message down to his subjects and other people, especially the young ones.

He noted that, “It is our duty to work hard and ensure a society where we can have the kind of young ones we can all be proud of. This is the kind of enlightenment campaign the EFCC is embarking on aggressively. It is a fight that belongs to all of us. We are just at the forefront and we are privileged to be. We are the foot soldiers.”

The highpoint of the visit was the showering of royal blessings on the team for more successes, good health, longevity and prosperity, which was followed by an exchange of gifts between the Monarch and the visitors.

Nnenna.O