Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has called on the media to complement the work of the anti-corruption agencies, describing the role of the media as vital in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
“The media occupy unique place in the fight against corruption and impunity in Nigeria. As the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the media is the only profession that is constitutionally mandated to hold the nation’s leaders to account”, he said.
Magu made the appeal in a keynote address delivered on Monday, November 27, 2017 at the 68th Annual General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON, at Ibeto Hotels, Abuja.
The event with the theme, “The Nigerian Media and the War Against Corruption”, had in attendance the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Chairman, BON, John Momoh and Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Modibo Kawu, among others.
According to Magu, for corruption to be effectively tackled, the media must align itself with the progressive aspirations of Nigerians.
His words: “Corruption in Nigeria is cancerous and has defiled every effort at eradicating it while making the country a laughing stock in the comity of nation. There are few nations that are as rich as Nigeria yet poor. Poverty in the midst of wealth is the paradox of our national existence and corruption is the culprit”.
The EFCC boss enjoined the media to rise above personal and parochial interests, while urging them to always be fair and objective in their reportage.
While lamenting “the seeming ethical rot in the media”, the anti-graft czar called on media practitioners to always uphold the ethics of their profession. He also urged media owners to give priority attention to the welfare of their employees saying, “The media is too critical to be left at the mercy of the corrupt oligarchs in our midst”.
He reiterated the determination of the EFCC towards ensuring that anyone who steals from the public treasury and all those who assist them to do so under whatever guise, are brought to justice.
According to him, without the efforts of the EFCC the current economic challenges confronting our nation could have been worse. He said that, through the Commission’s enforcement activities, global confidence has been restored in our nation while leakages in the economy had been checked and looted funds running into several billions of naira had been recovered.
Declaring the event open, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, noted that most of the country’s problems were as a result of corruption saying, “it is an issue that has to be tackled decisively or it will destroy the country”.
Considering the resistance to the war against corruption, Mohammed believes the chances of victory are slimmer without the support of the media.
He said, “When the media is not fully on board, the fight against corruption becomes tougher. When the media sits on every setback we suffer prosecuting this war, they give succor to the corrupt. When the media falls for the distraction tactics of those who are mortally afraid of this war, they weaken the battle”.
The Minister appealed to the media to stop mocking the Federal Government and support the war against corruption.
“As we have said times without number, this fight must not be seen as Buhari’s fight alone. It must not be seen as the Federal Government’s fight; it is our fight”, he said.
Earlier,John Momoh, Chairman, BON, while stressing the importance of digital broadcasting and the need for its immediate implementation said the organisation was yet to have a clear roadmap for the implementation of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Nigeria.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)