The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has commended the Whistleblowers Anti-Corruption Reporting Network (WARN) for joining the crusade against corruption to ensure that the menace is brought to the barest minimum in the country.
Professor Owasanoye made the commendation recently through an Assistant Commissioner of ICPC, Mr. Edet Ufot, while delivering a keynote address during the inauguration of WARN, an anti-corruption Non-governmental Organization (NGO), in Abuja.
The ICPC Chairman praised the organization for choosing whistleblowing which is a very significant aspect of the fight against corruption as their focus, noting that the work of ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies depends extensively on information.
“I need to say that they have chosen a very creative, imaginative and important part of the anti-corruption work, because the work of ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies revolves round information. They have chosen to take on this task of providing information to the anti-corruption agencies so that they can do their work to diminish corruption” he said.
Speaking on the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP), the ICPC Chairman noted that the policy was for all citizens, and therefore called on everyone to involve in driving the Policy in order to restore lost values.
He revealed that ICPC was driving the Policy in conjunction with the Office of the Head of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), National Orientation Agency (NOA), and other stakeholders including civil society organizations.
ICPC boss highlighted the core values of the policy to include Integrity, National Unity, and Professionalism. Others included Patriotism, Personal Responsibility, Human Dignity, Voice and Participation.
Earlier in his remarks, the convener and Executive Director of WARN, Mr. Gabriel Onwe, noted that corruption was the reason Nigeria remained underdeveloped, and that drastic measures must be taken to eradicate the cankerworm.
Mr. Onwe told the audience that WARN was a non-profit organization that was dedicated to advancing citizen’s participation in the fight against corruption, community mobilisation, training and advocacy; project tracking as well as promoting accountability and good governance.
The Director, WARN, added that government alone could not succeed in the fight against corruption without the support of citizens, that was why WARN focused on mobilizing citizens because they were crucial in the anti-corruption fight through whistleblowing.
He called on all Nigerian to join in the fight against corruption saying “I have always maintained that the citizenry need to wake up and do their part. Sitting down and thinking the current leadership or any leadership will do it alone is wishful thinking.”
In his goodwill message, the special Guest of Honour at the event, Mr. Mainasara Umar, the Director, Information and Corporate Services Department of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), underscored the need for the creation of anti-corruption courts to handle corruption related matters, adding that such courts if established, would go a long way in reducing the delays inherent with legal proceedings of corruption related matters.
In another goodwill message by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, Esq. who was represented by Huseina Alkali, Deputy Director, Human Rights Education and Promotion, while applauding the inauguration of WARN expressed the willingness of her organisation to partner with them.
The Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Malam Imaan Ibrahim, who was represented by Mrs. Grace Ofonime, in his goodwill message noted that the inauguration of WARN was in line with the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to rid the country of corruption.