Neglect of cultural values responsible for rise in corruption – EFCC chairman 

Chief Biodun Ajiboye, Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), with Mr Ola Olukoyede, Executive Chairman of EFCC
Chief Biodun Ajiboye, Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), with Mr Ola Olukoyede, Executive Chairman of EFCC

 

 

 

The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has blamed the neglect of cultural values for the high rate of corruption in the country.

He said this on Tuesday when Chief Biodun Ajiboye, Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The visit was to discuss inter-agency collaborations toward re-orienting Nigerians on the need to revive their cultural values as a tool to fight and eradicate corruption in the country.

In a statement issued by Mr Caleb Nor, Media Aide to Ajiboye, Olukeyede said that the commission was doing its best to curb the menace of corruption to a reasonable level.

Olukoyede said one of the ways to achieve the EFCC mandate was through citizens’ cultural orientation on the high level of moral decadence and values that were completely broken.

“What does not belong to you, you don’t have business with it and if we have moral and value re-orientation of the citizenry, it will help us achieve a lot.

“We need to channel our efforts on crime prevention rather than recording thousands of convictions.

“There is also a need for us to look at the loopholes and re-orient the people and that is where NICO comes in. We need people like you to support us by getting involved in the fight against corruption.

“Basic orientation is needed for Nigerians to understand the need to avoid engagements in criminal vices and we will not mind to give your Institute a desk in the commission to see how we can join forces in re-orienting Nigerians.

“Because if we go back to our values and with the potency it has to take away the issue of moral decadence, I can assure you that it will reduce the bulk of my work,” he said.

Also, Ajiboye said his visit was to seek the commission’s support and cooperation in fulfilling NICO’s mandate as the foremost cultural training institute in the country.

He said that such collaboration would assist in tackling financial crimes and fraudulent activities through the cultural and psychological re-wiring of Nigerians to nation’s cultural ideals and ways of life.

He noted that it would equally step up the advocacy to return Nigeria’s cherished cultural values.

Clamouring for the return of cultural values as solution to corruption, Ajiboye disclosed that the institute was powered by law to serve as a focus for orientation in cultural matters for Nigerian policy makers.

He said the institute also had the power to train citizens toward integrating Nigeria’s culture at all levels into people’s everyday activities.

He, however, proposed the training of senior officers of the commission by the institute for improved productivity.

“The institute is of the firm belief that as a crime detection and prevention agency, the EFCC can leverage the advantage of the Nigerian cultural element to tackle corruption and financial crimes in Nigeria.

“If officers of the commission can be grounded in Nigerian culture for effective investigations and interrogations, it will enable them to discharge their duty more effectively.

“There is also no denying the fact that cultural appreciation can also reduce the financial crime rate and corruption among Nigerians. You will agree with me that no culture in Nigeria encourages criminal behaviour or greed.

“However, these values have been replaced with a foreign culture of covetousness which is evidenced in the ever-increasing rate of internet fraudsters or “yahoo yahoo” as they are popularly called as well as other corrupt practices like embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds.

“All these are forms of stealing and no culture in Nigeria encourages thieves. We are therefore proposing a cultural orientation training for senior officers of the commission in a bid to utilise the cultural knowledge they will gain towards aiding crime investigation and interrogation purposes.

“You will agree with me that a suspect whose cultural affinity is respected and appreciated will tend to be more helpful during interrogation,” he said.

NAN

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