The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Kogi State has charged the people of the state to complement its effort by reporting any possible incidence of financial improbity to the commission for prompt investigation.
The anti-graft agency gave the charge in Lokoja during a day sensitisation town hall meeting with the residents and critical stakeholders in Lokoja Local Government Area.
Kogi State Commissioner for ICPC, Barr Chilezie Patrick Ogwuegbu, who described corruption as misuse of public power for personal gain noted that Kogi people are not ready to support or join the fight against corruption.
“The impact of corruption is very hard on public life. Corruption has undermined Nigeria’s economic growth and development. It denies the ordinary citizen the basic means of livelihood, it worsen unemployment, health services, increase crime rate, erodes our image as a nation, as individual and so too our fufure.
“ICPC have its office in Lokoja , but no body has ever come forward with a complain of corruption practices. I am using this meeting to reassure the people that we will not disclose identity of any one who furnish us with useful information. We also expect every body to be a whistle blower” he said.
The ICPC boss who proclaimed among others that the anti-graft agency is charged with the responsibility of receiving and investigating reports of the conspiracy to commit, attempt to commit, urged the people not to hesitate in reporting alleged corrupt practice.
He pointed out that the commission will continue to educate and enlighten the public against corruption and other related offences with a view to attaining a stable and just society.
Ogwuegbu who stated that the commission has launched a Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG), to monitor the execution of all constituency projects across the country , noted that in Kogi state the effort have brought a positive change to some projects executed by lawmakers.
“The model fish market in Lokoja was a constituency project initiated by late Majority leader of House of Representative , Late Buba Jibrin, most of the components of the fish market were not provided by the contractors that executed the project. But with the intervention of the tracking team of ICPC all the missing components have been provided” he explained.
Earlier in an address, Maigari of Lokoja, HRH Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru Maikarfi II called on the people of Kogi State and Nigeria in general to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against the endemic scourge of corruption which he emphasized has obliterated the glory of Nigeria.
Represented by a retired Permanent Secretary, Chief Aliyu Jiya, the monarch who commended the ICPC for its untiring effort at reducing prevalence of corruption reminisced that unemployment, insecurity and covetousness which have become the order of the day were nonexistent few decades as a result of zero presence of institutionalised corruption.
Also in an address, the Administrator of Lokoja Local Government Area, Hon. Mohammed Dansebe suggested that ICPC should be given a role to play as project evaluator by federal government to put contractors on their toes in term of quality execution of projects .
He noted that corruption should be tackled headlong right from home, stressing that attention should not be focused only on government officials.
The Administrator who was represented by the Director of the Local Government Area, Hajiya Fatima Abubakar noted that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot solely end corrupt practices across the country, calling for attitudinal change and value reorientation of citizens to ensure a just and stable society.
Various participants who spoke at the meeting unanimously agreed that the fight against corruption must start from home as the lowest unit of society and commended the ICPC for conveying the meeting when it is needed most.