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President Buhari vows to sustain anti-graft war

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Members of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), at the swearing-in by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO; PHILLIP OJISUA

• Swears in new ICPC chair, board members
• Shiites deny plans to disrupt 2019 polls

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday vowed to continue the anti-graft fight of his administration if re-elected at the February 16, 2019 polls.

Speaking at the swearing in of Professor Bolaji Owasanoye as chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) and eight other members, including a 27-year-old lawyer, Hannatu Muhammad from Jigawa State in Abuja, he reminded the appointees that their consideration was a call to national service in a sector very critical to the programmes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

“The fight against corruption is very crucial in our national development. This is why I have often said – if we do not kill corruption– corruption will kill Nigeria,” Buhari stated.

The Nigerian leader recalled the damage the menace had inflicted on the nation’s development aspirations, stating: “Apart from the deliberate and wanton looting of our national wealth and common patrimony, corruption has eroded our values and ethical foundation as a nation.

“Corruption has negatively affected our political, economic and social life. Those opposed to our fight against corruption berate us for our focus, determination and single-mindedness. They pretend that they do not know what corruption is. But Nigerians know what corruption is. Ordinary people know what corruption is and they support our effort and determination to fight it.”

He went on: “The abuse of public office for private gain represents corruption in its worst form. The circumvention of public policies and processes for competitive advantage and profit is another form of corruption.

“The abuse of public office for personal benefit even if no bribery occurs is also corruption. The diversion of state revenue or miss-application of budgeted funds falls into the same category.

“I am particularly delighted that the ICPC law under which you will operate is robust enough to assist government to sanitise the public sector of corruption in service delivery, public procurement, diversion of public revenue, deliberate misuse of public funds and so on.”

The president urged the new board to collaborate with other agencies in mitigating wrongdoings in public expenditure.

The country’s number one citizen particularly said he looked forward to receiving anti-corruption recommendations linked to e-government standards and principles.

Others sworn in are Dr. Grace Chinda (Delta); Mrs. Olubukola Balogun (Lagos); Okolo Titus (Enugu); Obiora Igwedebia (Anambra) and Justice Adamu Bello (Katsina).

The rest were Abdullahi Maikanu Saidu (Niger) and Yahaya Umah Daudu (Nasarawa).

Meanwhile, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has dissociated itself from any plans to disrupt the 2019 polls.

Reacting in a statement yesterday in Kaduna to a recent memo by the Department of State Services (DSS) to security chiefs placing the Shiites under vigilance, the organisation’s spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, submitted that the body should not been seen as a threat to the general elections.


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