By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said that the high level of corruption in the country has denied many young Nigerians the opportunity to succeed and realise their dreams.
The commission vowed to continue combating graft in the country and called for support from all Nigerians, saying it cannot succeed without public support.
Speaking during the presentation of plaques to the runners-up in the ICPC 20th anniversary national essay and music competition in Abuja yesterday, a board member of the commission, Mr. Dauda Yahaya, stated that the anti-graft agency would equally continue to recognise and reward talents in the country.
“Corruption has closed opportunities for many young Nigerians. If not for corruption, opportunities would have been flowing on the streets of Nigeria. Opportunities were not created for the youths due to corruption but we are determined to tackle corruption but we can’t do it alone without the support of Nigerians.”
In his address at the brief ceremony, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye noted that the essay and music competition was meant to “reduce corruption by inculcating sound moral values in young Nigerians to grow up as good citizens.”
He added that the competition was also expected to motivate public officials to develop zero tolerance for graft and encourage them to imbibe honesty and hard work “rather than collecting bribes and cutting corners.”
Owasanoye, who was represented by an ICPC board member, Abdulahi Maikano, explained that the overall best winners of the competition, Malam Hamza Buwai, 54, of the National Boundary Commission and SP Francis Erhabor, 48, the Divisional Police Officer, ‘D’ Division, Itam, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, had earlier been honoured by the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on September 28.
He said, “The two men won the Public Service Integrity award for turning down bribes and frustrating efforts by unscrupulous elements in the public service to siphon public funds, thereby preventing the perpetration of the havoc that could affect the economy and the society negatively.”