Akwa Ibom Joins ICPC’s Anti-Corruption Campaign
Akwa Ibom State has joined the league of anti-corruption crusade to promote good governance and accountability in the Nigerian polity.
The State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, announced this at a summit organised by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with Foundation for Transparency and Akwa Ibom State Government, held at Le Meridien Ibom Hotels And Golf Resort, Uyo on Tuesday.
Governor Emmanuel said the theme of the summit, ‘Transparency and Accountability, A Panacea for Sustainable Development’ is as appropriate as it is timely since it aligns with the anchor of governance in the state which is Transparency, Accountability and Ethical Value which the seminar seeks to buttress, and assured that the philosophy will remain the guiding principle in the state administration.
He acknowledged that corruption has eaten into the fabric of Nigerian society but however said that a little of it has been experienced in the state due to contacts with other cultures.
Governor Emmanuel observed that despite the gloomy perspective, some Nigerians particularly indigenes of the state have distinguished themselves and made the country proud in various fields of endeavour across the globe.
“Akwa Ibom sons and daughters and other citizens of the country have been variously celebrated for the spirit of enterprise, industry, talents, skills and the ingenuity they have deployed to the developmental efforts of various entities across the globe. Our sons and daughters have raised our flag of achievements and have sat at the boardrooms where important and consequential decisions that affect mankind are taken.”
Mr Emmanuel explained that much of the country’s wealth has found its way into the international financial institutions as a result of corruption stressing that such funds could have been used to industrialise the country to grow the economy .
He however noted that the poor state of economy, selfishness and greed breed corruption due to what he described as survival strategy and expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Akwa Ibom son, Barrister Ekpo Nta, as Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), saying that Barrister Ekpo has recorded significant strides in checkmating corruption in the country.
Also, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke, identified failure to fulfill promises made during campaigns by politicians and political parties as corruption and called on the anti-corruption agency to consider prosecuting politicians who get to public offices and abandon their promises to the masses.
“Every time we talk about corruption, we talk only in terms of the financials. But I think corrupt practices transcend this. If a political party goes to election and make promises that they know they can’t fulfill, that is corruption. When we make electoral promises as politicians, including myself, and refuse to deliver on those promises, then we should be prosecuted for corruption.”
The State Chief Judge, Justice Stephen Okon, said it was worrisome that greater percentage of people fail to accept involvements in acts of corruption and indicated that each unit of government has remarkable role in giving evidence before courts on prevailing corrupt practices.
Justice Okon expressed delight at the synergy established by Akwa Ibom government and the ICPC to rescue the society from acts of corruption and pledged the commitment of the state Judiciary in tackling the menace of corruption in the state.
The Chairman of the ICPC, Barrister Ekpo Nta, in his remark, said the Summit was put in place in Akwa Ibom to kick start the zonal collaboration with states on the anti-corruption fight and expressed optimism that the summit would entrench peace, accountability and transparency in the governance of the country.
Barrister Nta, accompanied by top officials of the ICPC proposed the floating of affordable education, healthcare services, good transportation as well as better recruitment process in public service and educational institutions to usher in good governance, maintaining that corruption has the potential of truncating the success of government blueprints in any given society.
Present at the summit were members of the State Executive Council; Provost of Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, Prof. Sola Akinrinade who was represented by Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mrs Rashidat Okochuwa; members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; the Judiciary led by the state Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Steven Okon; representatives of Anti-Corruption Agencies as well as Officials of the Foundation for Transparency and Accountability.