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Desist from romancing corrupt individuals or face consequence – EFCC warns CSOs

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a stern warning to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to distance themselves from corrupt elements and individuals who advance the cause of bad governance.

EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, made this call during a meeting with executives of the Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks in Abuja.

Olukoyede emphasized that CSOs must shun any form of collaboration or support that could undermine the fight against corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria.

The meeting took place at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, which has been the hub of anti-corruption activities and campaigns recently.

The venue was filled with representatives from various CSOs across the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, all gathered to discuss the critical role of CSOs in promoting good governance and accountability in Nigeria.

Olukoyede expressed concern over instances where some state governments deliberately set up and fund CSOs to attack agencies set up to enforce anti-corruption laws.

He emphasized that such tendencies are against progress and development, and urged CSOs to play a more critical role in the development of the society.

According to him, “Whatever that is not expedient should be abhorred. It is appalling to see Civil Society Organisations veer off their mandate and be supporting bad governance. Please, let them know that such tendencies are against progress and development of the nation. Their platforms are not meant for such engagements.”

The EFCC boss commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for taking crucial measures on the issue of Consumer Credit and Students’ Loan Scheme, which he believes have great propensity to curb corruption.

“50 percent of my job would have been done by the time these policies come on stream. Imagine workers getting car loans and mortgage loans at 3, 4 and 5 percent to be repaid in the next 30 years. It will reduce corruption to the barest minimum,” Olukoyede said.

He also acknowledged the efforts of some CSOs in supporting the fight against economic and financial crimes, and urged them to continue playing a vital role in this regard.

“The CSOs are critical to the fight against economic and financial crimes. Some of the high-profile cases the Commission has prosecuted was made possible by the efforts of some of the promoters of these CSOs,” the EFCC boss added.

The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Waiya, commended Olukoyede for his sterling fight against Naira abuse and the noticeable paradigm shift in the entire war against economic and financial crimes.

Waiya described the Conference as a regional network of non-governmental, non-partisan, not-for-profit, non-ethnic, and non-religious platform, with the sole objective of advocating for the best practices of democracy, accountable governance, and increased development of Northern Nigeria and beyond.

The group called for greater penetration of the grassroots to ensure that false narratives and campaigns against the Commission are neutralized, and sought closer collaboration with the EFCC to ensure optimal results in the fight against corruption.

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