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National anti-corruption conference asks Buhari to protect his legacy

Some anti-corruption activists have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to strive to leave a legacy of a functional system before the end of his administration.

In a statement on Sunday, the anti-corruption advocates said a functional system is where there is respect for the rule of law and all actors act only in full compliance with the constitution, acts of the national assembly and all other laws of the country.

The delegates from 158 anti-corruption civil society and non-governmental organisations, faith-based groups, youth and community-based organisations had gathered in Abuja for a one-day national conference on Sunday.

The delegates said the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration would eventually be assessed by the conduct of key officials, especially those saddled with the responsibility of taming corruption in Nigeria.

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There was an exhaustive deliberations by the expanded gathering with keynote address by Wasiu Ademola Oyedokun-Alli, the dean, faculty of arts, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti state, and presentations from speakers, including Debo Adeniran, the chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, among others.

The conference adopted a communique which expressed concern that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, under the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa, is not doing enough in the fight against corruption.

The delegates also claimed that some actions of the anti-graft agency’s chairman as a public officer had been high-handed, prejudicial, contemptuous of Nigerian courts and oppressive to the human rights of persons under investigation.

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While congratulating Nigerians on the outcome of the elections, the delegates faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission for not “keeping strictly to the promises made to Nigerians”.

They condemned what they described as the various attempts by some politicians and people of vested interests towards pushing the country dangerously to the edge of the slope, particularly the promotion of ethnic and religious divisions among Nigerians.

“The conference expressed gross dissatisfaction with the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria which in the last three months has crippled economic activities and put Nigerians under unprecedented and untold hardship due to the scarcity of the local currency as well as the incessant failure of the online banking system,” the communique stated.

“There must be consequences for the needless hardship Nigerians were made to contend with in the face of a policy that was not well thought out.

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“Corruption undermines growth, erodes trust in governments, fuels support for extremism and hinders the fight against poverty and inequality. Therefore, we as Nigerians, have a responsibility to prevent, detect and expose any form of corruption. In fighting corruption, we cannot, but also be mindful of the dictates of our laws, as a country under a democracy.

“The war against corruption in the country, particularly under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has its milestones, prospects and challenges, hence the need for us to consciously review same, while also setting an agenda for the incoming administration in the country. The subject of corruption and the war against it is of importance to us as stakeholders in the Nigerian project.”

The conference also demanded that states and other tiers of government must set up genuine machinery towards cooperating and consolidating the efforts of the federal government in tackling the various security challenges presently facing the country.

The delegates admonished the incoming administration to work hard to ensure that Nigerians remain united in peace and justice to all.

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