By: Olajide Toriola
Anti-Corruption agencies in the country have been urged to step up their engagement with the Nigerian public especially because there are still those who think when a politician who is their kinfolk steals, it is permissible.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, made the observation earlier today while meeting with a delegation of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) led by its Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay at the Presidential Villa.
“How we communicate what is going on regarding corruption is important. There are still those who think a politician who steals, is some kind of Robin Hood, instead of being vilified,” Prof Osinbajo noted.
He added that “some people believe that if ‘my kinsman’ steals it is ok,” stressing that it is important to completely delegitimise corruption especially through the way it is communicated.
He praised the work of PACAC. “I commend the excellent work you have done so far from the beginning,” he told the PACAC delegation, adding that the Committee has done very well removing skepticism as to whether an anti-corruption initiative can work well in the country.
“This has been very good,” the Vice President declared, explaining that the Committee has given credibility to the anti-corruption war.
While expressing satisfaction that the anti-corruption war has been going on very well, especially with the role of PACAC, the Vice President also noted that it is important that corruption trials once commenced should be concluded promptly.
In his comments at the meeting, Prof. Sagay said PACAC has engaged with all anti-corruption agencies in the country, including the police and the judiciary. “We are cooperating effectively well with them,” he disclosed.
Sagay who was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the Committee, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye and members including Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), called for an harmonized National Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Federal Government.