PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari at the launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Monday said corruption was alien to Nigeria’s core ethical values.
President Buhari was speaking at the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) while presiding over the event virtually from the presidential villa in Abuja.
The event was organised by the ICPC, in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, and the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
President Buhari went down memory lane to explain his role in combating corruption while he was a military head of state.
“As military Head of State, I fought corruption headlong and held public officers who abused their office or misused public funds to an account. Furthermore, I introduced the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), one of whose cardinal objectives was the promotion of our cherished culture of ethical conduct, integrity, and hard work,” he said.
“I recognised in 1984 as I do even more now that corruption poses a clear danger to Nigeria, so, we cannot relent in efforts to eradicate it from our society. As I have often reminded Nigerians, If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”
He reiterated a call on the judiciary to undertake reforms that will fast-track delivery of justice for the common good.
“We need laws and legal system to be reformed to deliver justice to every citizen without regard to status and finally we need ethical re-orientation of the people to achieve this goal. When we work together against corruption we can defeat it,” he said.
He maintained that enlightening Nigerians on preventive measures remains the key component in fighting corruption and commended ICPC in this regard.
“I wish to reiterate the role of preventive measures, public education and enlightenment against corruption. This government through the Open Treasury initiative, TSA, GIFMIS, BVN and many more is implementing different corruption prevention measures to track and retain government revenue for the use of the people,” he said.
At the event, awards were presented to Opeyemi Peter Adeboye, Chikezie Favour and Matilda Daniels declared winners of the ICPC Youth Music and Essay Competitions on the promotion of anti-corruption values.
Other awardees for the 2020 Public Service Integrity Awards include CSP Francis Osagie Erhabor of the Nigeria Police and Hamza Adamu Buwai of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment who demonstrated the will to look away from graft and corruption.
Congratulating the awardees, President Buhari said the country was proud of their accomplishments.
“Even though COVID-19 has not permitted the kind of ceremony that you deserve, Nigeria is proud of you. You are a pride to your families, institutions and to Nigeria,” he said.
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