Former Presidential aspirant and chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu has thrown his weight behind the anti graft war of the President Buhari’s administration.
Ribadu made this known in Abuja at the five year anniversary of #iFollowtheMoney community gathering organised by Connected Development (CODE) with the theme “The Power of Grassroots Mobilisation in Social Accountability”.
Ribadu who commended the Buhari administration in its dogged fight against corruption, commended the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, calling for his support.
The former EFCC chairman who said he chose to take a stand on this, said it was because he had passed through the stage, noting that : “I have seen similar signs of those dark moments of 2007 hovering all over us.
“It is always a dangerous cocktail when some corrupt elements in power decide to side with private interests outside government, using the rule of law as a ruse, to muscle sincere efforts to tackle corruption. We haven’t yet finish paying for the mistakes of 2007 and the years after.
“We should not allow history to repeat itself in this regard.
Personally, I believe this administration is doing a wonderful and patriotic duty by putting the fight against corruption on the front burner. Corruption is a serious ailment afflicting this nation and by facing it headlong, the Buhari administration is doing us a whole lot of service.
“At the implementation level, I am of the opinion that Ibrahim Magu and his team are doing a great job and they need the support of all well-meaning Nigerians. I know how tough this work is, and I can appreciate the challenges they are contending with.
“We must support and encourage them. Not because we like or dislike them but because they are offering a selfless national service, and they are doing it very well.
He furthermore advised the up and coming generation to have higher stakes than anyone else.
“You should take interest in what happens to the country to ensure that you don’t pay the price for the mistakes or costly actions of the generation before you”, he said.
He, however commended CODE for the #iFollothemoney initiative amongst it’s other projects, saying it takes courage to chase one’s dream and develop a career out of it.
“This grassroots mobilization for social accountability which CODE and a few other groups in the country are engaged in is probably the best thing citizens can do for their country. For democracy to evolve, for citizens to yield the full benefit of good governance, citizens involvement at the grassroots is essential.
In modern governance, citizens are not meant to take the back seat. Indeed, citizens must take the lead, set the agenda and monitor implementation of government programmes, if they are to witness the kind society they aspire to.
And it is within this context that one can properly appreciate what CODE is doing, the act of mobilizing Nigerians at the lowest level of society to understand their role, the power they have as citizens and how they can use those inherent tools for the advancement of their respective communities.
“Mobilization for social accountability is a bottom-up approach to development that can guarantee transparency and accountability in the society by ensuring that those who are in positions of responsibility are put to task and people get value for money.
He further advised the citizenry to get involved in budget implementation, and with the availability of modern technology tools, such advocacies have been simplified and could make far-reaching impact in terms of policy and decision-making.
Importantly, at a time like this, when a clear line is remerging, demarcating agents of progress and those of bent on stopping them, as citizens, we have a duty not to be on the fence but make a clear choice between these contending forces.