- Spreads dragnet to track corrupt politicians
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Sunday said it has recovered over N900billion stolen by federal lawmakers in 12 states.
The sum, according to the anti-graft agency, represents constituency project funds diverted and siphoned by the lawmakers.
The commission, however, did not disclose the affected lawmakers or the states where the funds were meant to develop.
The anti-graft agency which made the disclosure at the weekend also said it has spread its dragnet to all the 774 local councils in Nigeria to track the activities of politicians with a view to exposing and arresting them.
The ICPC Commissioner in Kano, Mr Zayyanu Danmusa, spoke on the issues in Kano while unveiling members of an anti-corruption group drawn from the 44 Local Government Areas of the state, in collaboration with Community for Peace and Corrupt Free Society, Nigeria(CPCFS).
He explained that most of the lawmakers connived with contractors and supervisory federal agencies to siphon funds budgeted for constituency projects meant to enhance the development of their respective communities.
According to him, the fight against corruption should not be left alone for ICPC and EFCC.
The fight, he said, is a collective responsibility of Nigerians to expose as well as provide useful information on corrupt practices.
Danmusa said the Commission is in collaboration with different civil society organisations for sensitisation, monitoring and prevention of the need of public to shun corruption.
A board member of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Hon. Dauda Yahaya Umar, who also chaired the Commission’s Constituency projects tracking committee, called on Nigerians to disown, shun and stop celebrating corrupt politicians and public office holders.
Umar regretted that the activities of corrupt leaders have continued to retrogress national development.
Umar noted that President Muhammadu Buhari alone cannot champion the fight against corruption, “because you should not expect Mr. President to carry gun or knife to get at every corrupt Nigerian.”
He maintained that members of the group, drawn from the Local Government Areas of the state, would serve as volunteers of anti corruption campaigns through monitoring implementation of constituency projects in their respective communities.
“Our message is simple—Nigerians should shun corruption. Nigerians should disown corrupt people and stop celebrating them.
“By the time we boo corrupt leaders instead of hailing them, by the time we make them be on their own, they will have a rethink and begin to realise that what the havoc they are causing to our great country have severe consequences.
“This is our country and we must do something to help Nigeria get off this mess called corruption.
“I am not a politician but what we are facing as a people in Nigeria is pitiable, because of the activities of corrupt people.
“This is why we initiated this platform to join hands with designated anti-corruption agencies such as ICPC to expose corrupt politicians and public office holders.
“We are not stopping at that, we are taking the crusade against corruption to the communities.”
He further stated that, “we are taking it to the door-steps of Nigerians.
“I must also tell you that Nigerians are responding positively because we have volunteers even at the grassroots who have taken our message very seriously and they are ready to help make Nigeria work again.”
Umar explained that, “what we are really doing in this programme today is to re-jig the fight against corruption.
“Community leaders and opinion leaders across the country are here with us.
“We are raising a strong and formidable structure being led by 15 volunteers each from all 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
“These 15 volunteers will also create a structure of 15 volunteers from each of the wards within their localities.
“You can see how the crusade is germinating right into the households of every patriotic Nigerian.”
National Coordinator of CPCFS, Alhaji Baba Abdulsalam, stated: “In a nutshell, the entire exercise is all about trying to re-activate our structures.
“We are re-activating and re-energising all the structures of our executives from state, Local Government Areas to the Wards.”