The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), a leading anti-corruption organization, has expressed deep concerns regarding the suspension of Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), by the new administration.
HEDA believes that this action, taking place within a month of the new government’s assumption of office is now becoming a tradition for every regime, on assumption of office to decapitate the organisation and send the wrong signal that will undermine the ongoing fight against corruption in the country.
In a press statement endorsed by HEDA’s Chairman, Olarenwaju Suraju, the anti-corruption group emphasize that Nigerians are still in the dark regarding the anti-corruption agenda of the new administration that will give direction for its engagement of the cancer, especially an intra-party transition of power that makes difficult the work of anti corruption agencies due to lack of political will on the path of new government to bring to account its old allies and thereby making corruption a pressing issue that needs immediate attention.
According to Suraju, the circumstances surrounding past and current government officials, particularly those in public office who have been summoned by the EFCC, have not been adequately addressed. Instead of investigating these matters, the government has chosen to suspend the EFCC Chairman, signaling a lack of genuine interest in addressing corruption issues from both past and present administrations.
Suraju further expressed concern over the consistent pattern observed when it comes to the EFCC Chairman’s tenure, highlighting that no Chairman has ever left the office in a dignified manner.
He stressed that this ongoing challenge lies with the individuals who assume office and lack the will to thoroughly investigate past administrations, resulting in the unceremonious removal of EFCC Chairmen as sacrificial lambs.
The anti-corruption advocate warned that such actions send a negative message to the EFCC and other groups fighting against corruption. “It has become almost customary for new governments to undermine the commission, further hindering the fight against corruption.”
HEDA has called for a transparent and comprehensive approach to tackling corruption, urging the new administration to prioritize the investigation of past cases and ensure the stability and effectiveness of the EFCC in its mission to combat corruption.
As Nigerians await further clarification from the government, concerns grow about the potential setbacks in the fight against corruption and the need for a more robust and unwavering approach to eradicate this deep-rooted issue plaguing the nation.