President Buhari urges Africans to wage war against corruption
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on every African, especially the younger generation, to collaborate on every front towards ensuring that corruption becomes a thing of the past on the continent.
This is coming as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described Buhari’s war against corruption as a sham and congratulated the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, who was recognised alongside seven others and organisations globally for their efforts in fighting corruption in Nigeria.
Named in January 2018 as the African Union Anti-corruption Champion, Buhari made the call yesterday when he declared open the 2018 Africa Youth Congress against Corruption (AYCAC2018) with theme: ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation,’ at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
“As Africa promotes regional integration and global prosperity, corruption remains a major stumbling block to the realisation of the seven aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said, adding, “We must, therefore, fight it from all angles and avenues without ceasing. And only a united front led by the African youth can change this present narrative to a great story of African transformation.”
Quoting the late fiery lawyer and renowned Nigerian anti-corruption crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Buhari added, “You do not justify your crime by a defence that there are other criminals.”
He described corruption as, “Once-hidden taboo and hydra-headed challenge that freezes our aspirations and dents the hopes of our youth for a newly emergent Africa.”
He said, “Of particular interest to the youth, as reflected in the Nouakchott Declaration, is the emphasis on the imperative of investing in the demographic dividends through anti-corruption, education and sensitisation campaigns, targeting young people as a means of bringing about behavioural change.”
Buhari commended the efforts of Mr. Moussa Kondo from Mali for his Accountability Lab in the Republic of Mali, designed to build sustainable coalitions of accountapreneurs.
He also commended Mr. Maxence Melo from the United Republic of Tanzania and founder of JamiiForums, for strengthening the viability of whistleblowing policy tools.
Also praised by Buhari was Nigeria’s Damilola Olawale, founder of Code IT, for using technology to give young people the tools to demand transparency in the management of public resources.
The Commissioner for Political Affairs, African Union Commission, Mr. Minata Samate Cessouma, commended Buhari’s doggedness in the fight against corruption and for co-opting the youth into the fight against graft.
In his remarks, the acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, who spoke on behalf of anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria, regretted that corruption in Nigeria and Africa is very high.