The Code of Conduct Bureau (CBB) has vowed to reduce corruption in Nigeria to the barest minimum just as it says it will put an end to the tendency to steal national resources transferred to develop foreign countries.
Members of the gave the assurance after being inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
They promised to be tactical, honest and sincere in the fight against corruption to ensure they achieve results that will put the administration in the right perspective.
Speaking to correspondents after the inauguration a member of the bureau representing South-South geopolitical zone, Hon Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, affirmed that people with dubious intentions will be stopped from derailing progress in the country.
He said: “I think Nigeria deserves to get the best, Nigeria deserves to be among the leading nations with all that God has bestowed on this nation, but few cabals have determined to derail the progress of this great nation through dubious means.
“Of course, you know that the Code of Conduct Bureau was established many years ago to curb the menace of corruption. As we can see, corruption is cancer that needs total eradication and to achieve that every patriotic Nigerian must put hands together and support the government of the day. President Buhari cannot do it alone, he requires everyone.
“Seeing a crime being committed, failure to report that crime to the nearest law enforcement agency, you are as guilty as the man or woman who committed that crime. So it’s going to require the effort of every one of us.
“Myself, I need the cooperation of my team, my committee, all Nigerians, other law enforcement agencies, for us to collaborate in order to bring to bear and put Nigeria first.
“I think Nigeria deserves to get the best because corruption has eaten us deeply and it’s so sad that all over the world, Nigeria’s resources are taken from Nigeria to develop foreign countries. Why can’t we develop our own country?
“That is why I’m happy and proud to be part of this and appreciate Mr President for finding me to be a part of his team in fighting and bringing corruption to the nearest minimum.
“But I must say this that when you fight corruption, corruption will fight back at you. People will always remember when the time comes that this President did a lot.
“So let’s join hands together for greater things, for a greater Nigeria, that’s the only way we can succeed. The media also have a role to play.”
On what the CCB will do to correct the perception in some quarters that it is a vendetta tool, the former member of House of Representatives said that the team will make sure that Nigerians were given the best.
He added: “To be honest to you, people will always say one thing or the other, but what is important to us is that this country deserves to get the best. People will always want to pass information just to derail the wheel of progress.
“Don’t forget we are fighting corruption, people will come up to orchestrate, manufacture stories just to mess up or destroy your image, that’s what has been done over the years.
“You can say that in the past, some government officials had done that, but in this government, I don’t think anyone should say President Buhari is witch-hunting anyone. We have seen people, even in his own party, being prosecuted and nobody is applauding him for that.
“I believe we should support this government and Mr President. If this government succeeds, every Nigerian will be proud to be a Nigerian.
“I think this is not about partisanship, let us put Nigeria first, let us work together with the government of the day. At the end of the day, we will celebrate our great country Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the member representing South West, CP Babatunde Olayinka Balogun (retd), said they will tackle corruption frontally.
According to him, “I think it’s like moving from one house to the other. I’m a retired Commissioner of Police, I have all my life attempted to fight indiscipline, corruption and general audacity in society. I have used my position as a police officer to do so over the years.
“Having me being invited over to the Code of Conduct Bureau means this is an opportunity to actualise those things that I’ve been conceptualising. I will now be in a position to bring these things to the doorsteps of Nigerians that this is how we should conduct ourselves, this is what the law says and by the grace of God, we tend to not just preach it, but enforce it.
“We want to make sure that everybody conforms with the code of conduct of their various offices in the country.”
The member representing South East in the CCB, Barrister Benedict Umeano, said that President Buhari will not regret his appointment especially in the fight against corruption.
He said: “I feel so honoured that I have been called upon to represent my constituency in the fight against corruption and the President will not regret appointing me as a member of the CCB, I will do my best and make sure we write my name in the annals of history.”