Governor Okowa who was speaking at a one day anti corruption summit in Delta State held in Asaba yesterday (22/02/17) with the theme, “transparenacy and accountability: Institutionalisation of good governance for sustainable development,” observed that “corruption is one of the most recurring discourses in our national life, because, virtually every Nigerian agrees that it undermines the fabric of every aspect of society”.
” Over the years, it has constituted a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, including development programmes aimed at tackling poverty and economic backwardness.” The Governor observed.
“The fight against corruption is not an easy task, but it can be won through advocacy such as this one that aims at drastic reduction and where possible, total elimination of the practices in every facet of our national life, today, our anti-corruption agencies, namely, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal, are in the forefront of the fight against corruption,” the governor said, reiterating, “in the pursuit of our anti-corruption agenda, greater success will be recorded if our actions and practices are blind to all social, religious and political persuasions; our actions must be civil and be such that engineers public confidence and participation if the battle is to be won.”
Senator Okowa also called for the restructuring of the value system and for Nigerians “to cultivate and imbibe the culture of selflessness in rendering services, especially in public offices. We should learn to service our needs and avoid the path of feeding our greed. It can be done,” as ways of checking corruption.
He stressed that, “advocacy in partnership with civil society, public service, the organized private sector, opinion leaders and traditional institutions, is a sure path to success; the press must be seen and carried along as strategic partners in moulding the character of our people in a reformative manner, rather than being used to blackmail or defame persons ahead of decisions by competent courts.”
The governor stated that since assumption of office on May 29, 2015, his administration had emphasised the necessity for everyone to be ready to make necessary sacrifices to reduce the cost of governance.
“We have demonstrated our commitment and determination by bringing integrity to governance and showing leadership by example,” Governor Okowa stated while throwing his weight behind the recent introduction and encouragement to whistleblowers as part of the fight against corruption which he also, noted can be fought through “forging of strategic partnerships among governments, civil society organizations, organized private sector and international organizations.”
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was represented by Mr. Isaac Ezechi commended the Delta State government for organising the summit, stating that the federal government was encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by Nigerians in the fight against corruption.
Chairman of ICPC, Barr. Ekpo Nta in a keynote address warned corrupt Nigerians to be ready to face the consequences of their actions, stating, “if you are to be corrupt, be ready to pay the price as the law will take its course.”
He stated that preventive measures are the best ways to stop corruption.