Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Governor of the State of Rivers, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to combat corruption within the scope of the law.
Governor Wike has confirmed that any activity outside the law is bribery.
Governor Wike spoke on Monday during the “March Against Corruption” sponsored by the EFCC to mark this year’s World Anti-Corruption Day.
He appealed to the EFCC to ensure that they set up mechanisms to tackle bribery within the context of the rule of law.
“We urge the EFCC to fight corruption within the law. Anything that is against the rule of law is no longer a fight against corruption”, Governor Wike said.
He reiterated that the Government of the Rivers State would support the legal efforts of the EFCC to end corruption in the system.
Governor Wike declared that the Government of the Rivers State had decided to donate additional premises to the EFCC to extend its activities in the state.
He said that bribery had eaten deep into the national system, distorting the process of development in the region, and therefore, all of it.
EFCC alone cannot fight corruption. It requires all Nigerians to join hands to fight corruption. If you are in my Government and you don’t want to fight corruption, you cannot be in my Government.
“Without law, EFCC cannot be in existence. It is the law that created EFCC. So you must work within the law. Nigerians should know that corruption has eaten deep into the society. Corruption has set us back. We must all come out to join EFCC to fight corruption “, he said.
The head of the EFCC, Port Harcourt, Mr. Abdulrasheed Wahab, said that the EFCC is marking the International Anti-Corruption Day with its sister agencies and para-military agencies to raise public awareness of the fight against corruption.
He said the goal of this year is zero tolerance to wrongdoing in the maritime and transport industries. He said that the history of the EFCC in Port Harcourt is that of the EFCC investigating the oil sector, illicit oil bunkering, stealing of crude oil, economic sabotage and other related crimes in the maritime sector.
Wahab urged vessel owners, badge owners, boats and vehicles owners to be law abiding and obtain all relevant licenses from relevant authorities. He charged them to know their captains and drivers to stem the tide of illegality.
He said that the EFCC has over the years worked for the recovery of more than N700 billion and over $200 million (USD) and 407 mansions to the Federal Government.
He urged all groups to join the fight against corruption in the interest of the development of the country.
Leaders of Civil Society organisations, the maritime sector and para-military agencies who spoke after the walk declared their support in the fight against corruption.
The walk against corruption started at the EFCC Zonal Office at Old GRA and terminated at the Rumuwoji Market. Governor Wike and the leaders also trekked back to Government House from the Rumuwoji Market.