Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advocated the development of what he called “corruption army” for the purpose of fighting corruption to stand-still, saying that corruption is a disaster to national development.
Professor Osinbajo, who spoke today, November 29 at the official launch of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) Integrity and Zero Tolerance Manual for school clubs, which held at the Model Secondary School Maitama in Abuja, said: “We must develop an anti-corruption army.
“That army is waiting in our schools, and we must teach them early that corruption is the worst destroyer of destinies and people, and we must fight it as you fight a mortal enemy in war.”
According to the Vice President, every corrupt act is not just a crime, “it is a crime against society and even children yet unborn.”
Professor Osinbajo condemned every public officer who steals, robs the Nigerian society of funds for health care, education etc.
“We must become policemen against corruption and wrongdoing; whether it is a member of government or a shop assistant or your friend in class who is cheating, because they destroy our reputation.”
He observed that if the country’s reputation is deemed poor by others, it will affect all of us.
According to him, Nigerians, especially the youth, must discard the false notion that “we can get ahead by cheating, or stealing whether in public or private life. There are always consequences for wrongdoing.”
The Vice President said that the greatest challenge which Nigerians face currently is how to safeguard the youth from the ethical crisis and confusion confronting the nation, and the error of thinking that there will be no consequence for defrauding others, the employers or the government.
“The reason why people may believe these false notions is that there seem to be many in our society whose wealth cannot be explained, many even among the young who live by defrauding others. It is an error to think that corruption pays.
“Many societies in the world were where we are today, but soon, they realized that no society can survive by dishonesty, greed and theft. The society will eventually collapse. What those societies did was take an all-of-society approach to fight dishonesty.
“The other fact is that many who think they can get away with corruption, are often surprised that the long arm of the law, even if sometimes slow will eventually catch up with the criminal.
“There is no time bar or statute of limitation against a crime. A man who steals this year can be arrested in 10 years’ time for his crimes, so when you steal, you cannot sleep with both eyes closed.”
He said that Integrity and Zero Tolerance Manual for school clubs is a great initiative to recognize integrity, honesty, trustworthiness which are crucial individual and collective attributes for successful people and communities.
Professor Osinbajo said that the establishment of the Integrity clubs is a vital step in finally achieving this milestone in the building of the future against the disaster of corruption.
The Vice President said that the establishment of EFCC Integrity clubs in schools across the country is important because it embodies the values of honesty and hard work toward national development.