National conference asks Buhari to protect anti-corruption legacy
President Muhammadu Buhari
By Isaac Aregbesola
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to leave a legacy of a functional system that would respect the rule of law, ensuring all actors acted only in full compliance with the Constitution.
The National Conference, convoked by 158 Anti-Corruption Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations, faith-based groups, youth and community-based organisations, made the call in a communiqué issued at a day National Conference on Sunday in Abuja.
The conference was convoked to discuss the state of the nation, covering several fundamental issues, especially as they affected education, security, corruption challenges and other general interests.
They urged Buhari to protect the anti-corruption legacy, noting that the war against corruption in the country, particularly under his administration had its milestones, prospects and challenges.
The conference said there was the need to consciously review same, while also setting an agenda for the incoming administration in the country.
It stated that the subject of corruption and the war against it was of crucial importance to the stakeholders, in the Nigerian project.
The conference noted that 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.
“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 conference, specifically expressed concerns that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), under the leadership of Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, had allegedly become a cesspool of internal corruption, among other diverse issues.
It alleged that that Bawa’s actions as a public officer had been high-handed, prejudicial, contemptuous of Nigerian courts and oppressive to the human rights of persons under the EFCC investigation, while also condemning, in its entirety, his “deliberate disobedience of court orders.”
The communique said, in line with genuine concerns among informed Nigerians, “conference restates that a convict, as Bawa is seen to be currently, according to the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, which has not been vacated, cannot continue to preside over an important law enforcement agency like the EFCC established to fight corruption.”
They admonished the incoming administration to work hard and ensure vigorous fight against corruption and ensure that Nigerians remained united in peace and justice.
“Conference expressed gross dissatisfaction with the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 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,” it stated.
It stressed that 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.
While congratulating Nigerians on the outcome of the various elections, the organisations faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for not keeping strictly to the promises made to Nigerians.
They also condemned what they described as the various attempts by some politicians and people of vested interests toward pushing the country dangerously to the edge of the slope, particularly the promotion of ethnic and religious divisions among Nigerians.
The organisations also demanded that states and other tiers of government must set up genuine machinery toward cooperating and consolidating the efforts of the Federal Government in tackling the various security challenges presently facing the country.
They admonished the incoming administration to work hard to ensure that Nigerians remained united in peace and justice to all