The Zonal Commander of the Ilorin Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Usman Muktar, has described the media as a crucial partner in preventing corruption, economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
He stated this on Thursday, August 26, 2021, while playing host to journalists in Kwara at the Commission’s office along Catchment Road, GRA, Ilorin.
According to him, the task of fighting economic and financial crimes was painstaking and broad-based and should be embraced by all strata of the society with the media serving as channel of communication and enlightenment. He said, Commission depends greatly on the media to achieve success in the anti-graft campaign, especially as it affects the prevention mandate which is hinged on Section 6 of the EFCC Establishment Act.
His words: “Without a doubt, the media is a critical stakeholder in the anti-graft war. With your pen, you could make or mar the fight against corruption. The media’s potential to inform and educate the people is crucial for us. We believe that on our own, we cannot win the war against corruption without a buy in by the people. This is where the support of the media comes in. We need the media to help sensitize the people on the ills of corruption and economic crimes”.
Muktar stated further that, “How successful we are at what we do, depends largely on the media and the ability to achieve the prevention mandate of the Commission is totally hinged on the active involvement of the media, and we all know that prevention is cheaper and better than seeking a cure”.
The EFCC boss noted that, the media was important in driving awareness and sensitization, and called on media practitioners to help change the old order of celebrating morally bankrupt individuals and known fraudsters.
He further urged journalists to be credible watchdogs and assist the EFCC with actionable intelligence on economic and financial crimes in the state.
On the issue of cybercrime, the Zonal Commander stated that, “The Command, which covers Kwara, Ekiti and Kogi States is engaging relevant stakeholders including religious and traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs and the youths with a view to sensitise them on the inherent dangers of corruption.
While decrying the high rate of cybercrime among the youths, Muktar warned fraudsters to desist from engaging in acts of corruption and steer clear of the three states under his command. He said that, the “eagle eyes” of the Commission was widely open and ready to catch any corrupt individual, anytime, anywhere.
“My Command is certainly not going to be a safe haven for cyber criminals”, he added.
In his remark, Abdullateef Lanre Ahmed, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kwara Council, commended the efforts of the EFCC in riding the country of corruption. He enjoined the Commission to heighten its advocacy and sensitisation programmes as veritable way of dissuading the minds of the youth from engaging in corruption and acts of criminalities.
While lending a voice to Ahmed’s submission, Alhaji Mohammed Tunde Akanbi of Voice of Nigeria, VON, urged journalists to be hardworking, incisive, probing and penetrating in their reporting. Alhaji Akanbi, who was also a former NUJ chairman, Kwara Council, encouraged journalists to cultivate the skills of analytical reporting and steer clear of stereotypes.
Also speaking, Alhaji Abdulrasaq Adebayo of Daily Post and one-time General Manager of The Herald Newspapers decried youth involvement in corruption, describing it as “the major problem holding back the development of the country. He pledged the support of the media to the EFCC in its bid to stamp out corruption in our society.
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