mariam sissoko unodc country rep, ahmadu giade ndlea chairman and dr paul orhii dg nafdac presenting world drug report 2014
A coalition of 14 Civil Society Organisations has cautioned against the hijack of the anti-corruption efforts for personal vendetta as it warned that there are plans to overwhelm anti-corruption agencies with frivolous petitions.
African Arise for Change Network on the War Against Corruption in Nigeria said the petition against the Director General of the National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr. Paul Orhii is likely the first among such tainted petitions especially when those behind it were also calling for the sack of the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Larmode.
The network told a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday that those opposed to the anti-corruption fight are using disgruntled workers as whistle blowers in order to mislead anti-graft bodies.
Samson Bello, who is the Secretary General of the network said “Members of African Arise for Change Network on the War Against Corruption in Nigeria as patriotic citizens, who are committed to the emergence of a greater Nigeria, wholly support the wind of change blowing across the country, particularly the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The positive impact of a commitment to tackle corruption head on is already being felt by way of the country’s rising profile in the comity of nations.
“Our support for the anti-corruption fight has thus spurred us to raise the alarm over fifth columnists who are already positioning to truncate the gains of change. Unfortunately, the plan of such groups are couched to mislead Nigerians into thinking such individuals behind them are against corruption while the reverse is the case. Chief, among their strategy is to use disgruntled elements within government offices, agencies and parastatals to pose as whistle blowers to media house and consequently send operatives of anti-corruption agencies on wild goose chase. The anticipated end result of this scheme is to overwhelm the EFCC, ICPC and Police FIU with frivolous petitions whose investigation would spread operatives thin thereby rendering them ineffective.
“We have since found out that their target was the Director General of the National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr. Paul Orhii despite the standard to which he has globally raised NAFDAC to as a reliable regulator of food and drug administration, which has helped to boost the economy as many now see reasons to rely on made in Nigeria goods and commodities.
“Let it be categorically made clear to these peddlers of falsehood in our society that their inglorious era of mischief has come to an end and Nigerians can no longer afford to be taken for a ride with their frivolous and fictitious accusations that have helped to misguide and mislead people on their track records.
“The group’s plank rests on the petition by a whistle blower who only started his crusade of righteousness after an internal re-organisation moved him from his erstwhile “juicy” position in the agency. The re-organisation was in turn the product of when staff realized that the celebrated whistle-blower has an agenda to amass wealth for himself while the DG was been busy working round the clock to improve on the high standard he met at NAFDAC.
“Our greater worry is however about the impact that such frivolous petition would have on the ability of Nigerians firms to export their produce at a time the nation is looking to diversifying its revenue base. The stories online about the petition have been dispersed in cyberspace and any search about made in Nigeria goods will return results that will suggest that the regulatory framework is corrupt contrary to the reality on ground.
“The allegations also have the potential to distract the anti-corruption crusade as the relevant agencies could soon become wary of chasing shadows when they found out that many of the petitions and demands by agitating groups are unfounded. There is also the ugly aspect of national productivity plummeting as jobbers and conmen use anti-graft agencies to harass and distract well-meaning chief executive officers of government agencies.
“We therefore call on NAFDAC and by extension all Nigeria to disregard the distractions of sponsored petitions while institutions targeted by these saboteurs should renew their commitment to a changed Nigeria by continuing to diligently do their work.” Bello sad.
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