Condemns call for EFCC’s boss sack
A Pan-Yoruba group, Oodua Nationalist Coalition (ONAC), has urged the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, to focus on fighting corruption in his administration, stressing the need for strong institutions without interference by politically-exposed persons.
ONAC, a coalition of 25 Pan-Yoruba groups, also rejected the call for the sack of Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, saying that removing Bawa at this time would weaken the organisation and fuel political interference in the affairs of the anti-corruption agency.
The group gave the charge, yesterday, during a briefing attended by over 100 delegates representing different Yoruba groups.
One of the leaders of the group, Popoola Ajayi, who cautioned against interference in anti-corruption agencies’ activities, said: “Nigeria needs strong institutions. We must never allow the EFCC to be subjected to political influences.”
“While we recognise the shortcomings of the EFCC, we are also conscious of the historic intervention of the anti-graft agency in promoting transparency and accountability in Nigeria.”
The group, therefore, said that Bawa’s removal would not be in the interest of Nigerians at this moment, adding that it is time politically-exposed people stop attacks on the EFCC.
It added: “We are currently working with other organisations across the country, especially ethnic groups in the Niger-Delta, Middle Belt, North West and North East to mobilise against any attempt to impose a rookie on EFCC for political reasons. The ethnic groups represent the culture, values and heritage of Nigerians. We are in the best position to resist this attempt to remove the Bawa for political reasons.”
“Bawa should be allowed to complete the on-going investigation against some important political figures, including those in the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) that are desperate to ensure the removal of the EFCC chairman under the illogical proposition that he has failed to obey court orders.
“In law, if the EFCC chairman fails to obey court order, the aggrieved should file contempt proceedings. Jumping to the rash conclusion that he should be removed is unreasonable, self-serving and unproductive.”
ONAC said corruption remains one of the most important agenda that must be fought by Nigerians, noting that it fuels poverty, deprivation, hunger and social disequilibrium.
“Corruption breeds misery, stirs crisis and may instigate war. Corruption is responsible for terrorism and extremism by thousands of youths who are disillusioned, poorly educated and desperate to survive by all means possible.
“Why we are concerned about the National Elections, It should be of importance to us what those elected have put together to achieve with public resources that law has empowered them to manage.
“Tampering with the leadership of the EFCC will send very wrong signals to local and international communities. We call on the newly elected President, State Governors and lawmakers to allow the EFCC to do its work without political interference.
“The Pan Yoruba groups are as concerned as any meaningful organisation or group in the fight against corruption.
Our numerous members want a country where justice, peace and prosperity will reign.
“We want respect for institutions. We don’t want weak institutions managed by strong men. We want strong institutions, which are better than strong political figures in power. We call on all Nigerians to join in the campaign for the independence of the EFCC and non-interference by politically exposed persons. This is the right pathway to the greatness of democracy and the renaissance we all seek in our lifetime.
“Having contested elections, some have lost, some have won, the agenda setting must begin as the May 29 handover date draws closer. Nigerians irrespective of their political standing must unite behind the common goal of bringing corruption to its knees.”