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Anti-graft war: Advocacy groups, others insist on whistle blowing policy

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

Advocacy groups, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, (AFRICMIL), Social Development Integrated Centre and Youth Alive Foundation have insisted that a good percentage of corrupt practices bedeviling the country could be curtailed if Nigerians could cue into the whistle blowing policy of the federal government.

They said this in Calabar during a workshop for Community-Based Organisations (CBO) on whistle blowing as a tool for drastically bringing the evil of corruption to its barest minimum.

Speaking, Dr Chido Onumah, AFRICMIL coordinator expressed the belief that “whistle blowing is a tool for strengthening the fight against corruption in Nigeria,” and noted that their goal was to introduce local CSOs and CBOs across the country on how they could use the whistle blowing mechanism in demanding accountability and exposing corruption at the grassroots.

“As Nigerians, we must be aware that the fight against corruption is not to be left for the government alone. We all have roles to play, and this is what the whistle blowing policy seeks to ensure.”

Highlighting the evils of corruption, the programme manager of Corruption Anonymous (CORA) project, a whistle bowing platform, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, said Thabo Mbeki’s panel of the African Union had disclosed that African countries lost $150 billion to corruption annually and that the continent also lost $480 billion through illicit financial flows.

Abdulaziz added that although the federal government had put machinery such as accountability measures like the TSA and payroll audit, criminal investigations, recoveries of looted funds/civil forfeitures, prosecutions amongst others, to check cases of corruption, the 36 States have weaker transparency level.

In his remarks, ICPC Chairman, who was represented by Mr Larry Abuo, an officer of the Commission, said the ICPC had already made provision for the protection of whistle blowers and, therefore, challenged Nigerians to rise and save the country from the menace of corruption. He said N12 billion was recovered by ICPC in 2019 while scam activities to the tune of N8.62 billion were foiled.

Theresa Nwosu, head, public affairs department of EFCC, Uyo zonal office, in her remarks, said whistle blowing would not only help in the fight against corruption but could stop commission of crimes.

“Everyone should get involved in blowing the whistle because we all bear the brunt of the evil of corruption. The only problem Nigeria has is corruption and if this menace is tackled headlong, everything will fall into place.

“It is corruption which throws up bad leadership, it is corruption which is causing us not to have constant electricity, I mean every challenge we have in this country has its root in corruption” she submitted.

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