The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde has stressed the need for women to be agents of change by being actively involved in the war against corruption, with a view to building Nigeria of our dream.
He made the call at the EFCC Zonal Anti-Corruption Sensitisation Workshop for Women Civil Society and Community-Based Groups on Monday, September 21, 2015 at G-Tower Hotels and Tourism Limited, Owerri, Imo State.
The sensitisation workshop with the theme, ’’how women’s organisations can aid the fight against corruption, economic and financial crimes’ seek to articulate a structured national response to gender and corruption.
‘We are convinced that the power to change the destiny of our nation as one blighted by deep-rooted corruption, lies in our hands. Therefore this sensitisation workshop…is but one little step in a long journey to making each and every one of us take ownership of the war against corruption’, Lamorde said.
According to him, ‘women are more vulnerable to the impact of corruption than men as they form a larger proportion of the poor and take primary responsibility for child care’.
The anti-graft Czar expressed belief that, the programme will cause participants to form the core of a platform, Women Anti-Corruption Network, WAN, through which the Commission and stakeholders can interface with the general public on the issue of gender and corruption.
In his welcome remarks, Chido Onumah, Coordinator, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, AFRICMIL, expressed gratitude to the EFCC not just for its appreciation of gender dimension of the anti-corruption campaign, but also for seeing the need to rally women and their organisations to lend their voice and play a role in the anti-corruption campaign.
He urged participants to take advantage of the intervention to advance the cause of the war against all shades of graft.
In her presentation titled, ‘The Role of Women in the Anti-Economic and Financial Crimes Crusade’, Nma Olebara described corruption as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerians’ system.
She decried corruption in all ramifications using Bible quotations to buttress her points adding that, corruption is as old as mankind.
‘In Nigeria, we started hearing of corruption and ten percent kick back in government transactions and contract awards in the first Republic…Our present 16years of uninterrupted Democracy has put Nigeria in the front row of the most corrupt nations of the world…Corruption momentarily extols the fraudulent and unpatriotic, emasculating the honest , transparent patriotic and noble’, Olebara lamented.
However, she expressed optimism that, Nigerian women have the capacity and potentials to liberate this country from the shackles of corruption.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Advocacy as A Tool for Preventing Economic and Financial Crimes’, Angela Nkwo-Akpolu of the Authority Newspaper, Owerri, called for a re-orientation of our value system, to restore good values.
According to her, there must be a deliberate collaboration among stakeholders such as media, civil society, anti-corruption agencies, public office holders, schools, parents and youths among others for the fight against corruption to be won.