EFCC Employment Saga A Replicate Of Corruption In Nigeria

LAGOS JANUARY 30TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Before now, I have confidently argued severally on different occasions with so many people that the corruption status of Nigeria have definitely reduced to a manageable level or below average since the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) some years now,  hearing news of arrests and thousands of cases pending in courts bordering on different financial crimes among others in  Nigerians by the EFCC.

Funny enough, the people that are being arrested by the EFFC on daily basis are majorly the top politicians like ex-governors, ex-ministers, ex-commissioners and other top political office holders both at the state and the federal levels. But in all this,  I was recently proved wrong with my arguments as a result of a recent employment conducted by the EFCC across the country.

However, the EFCC employment was conducted along the zonal headquarters of the anti-graft agency in the country. Therefore, our searchlight here is heavily beamed on the Benin zonal headquarters which comprised three states of Edo, Ekiti and Delta according to the employment arrangement by the EFCC headquarters at Abuja. From the internal memo published and circulated by the Director of Organizational Support of the EFCC, the employment announcement was made on 15th January to be closed on 22nd January. That means, just one week for submission of applications and screening of applicants. Here, the first suspicious  alleged  corrupt practice against the anti-graft agency  was the short notice. The time was not enough to circulate the information and to make the people prepare for the job in question. Secondly, despite the short notice to the members of the Nigerian public, trust Nigerians, the information still went round to so many people especially the categories the agency needed. As a media reporter, I was there to witness the whole process at Benin City. The crowds of applicants from these three states were uncontrollable that very day. But the funny part of the story was that, among the thousands that went for the employment, the agency was only ready to employ twenty per a cadre in a state, which means each state was given sixty employment slots. 

Unfortunately, before the employment notice went on air, the top officials of the agency and their god-fathers were allegd to  have already shared these slots among themselves as usual,  deceiving helpless and poor young Nigerians to take the risk of traveling on highways and to also spend their money without a little value attached. Without a well co-ordinated interview, few people were just selected among the multitudes and message was sent to them to go for final screening. On that very day too, so many of the applicants went but they were restricted from entry into the venue of the screening exercise on the basis that they were not sent an invitation.

More importantly, my message to the federal government is to look into this recent EFCC employment and the maladies of corruption surrounding it especially at the Benin zonal headquarters. I also know that the story would not be different in other zonal offices across the country. The federal government must not rest on its oars in digging out the heaps of corrupt practices by the EFCC officials. 

In Nigeria, it has already become a culture that at any time there is a federal or state employments, they must be surrounded by high level of corruption. Employment in Nigeria in both the private and public sectors, is usually based on “who know man” or through financial inducements and not strictly on merit. But one is always agape in a situation where a federal agency mandated by a law to fight corruption in a country has initiated itself into public displays of corrupt practices in every of their activity. This means, corruption is deeply rooted in the country and it cannot be shallowly uprooted again. This is the situation of this country at the moment. 

Unfortunately, the anti-graft agency have only proved to Nigerians and the outside world that, it is incompetent to fight corruption in the country. In this case, the story of the EFCC is like the folk story of the cat and rat in the land of the animals where both of them were accusing each other of being responsible for theft in the animal kingdom. At last, two of them were put to test to know the real thief by giving them a dried fish to keep. Before the break of the new day, two of them were caught in the act of stealing. This is why till today, no one can entrust these two rogues of animals with fish or pieces of meat. 

In fact, Nigerians are again disappointed by the activities of the EFCC with the poor manner at which  the  recent employment exercise executed. So many of the people that went to the employment ground were poor secondary school leavers and jobless graduates. Most of them were still dependents on their parents for virtually every of their need in life. EFCC couldn’t think of this as a body fighting corruption to follow the due process of conducting the employment exercise.  Truly, the EFCC  recent employment saga is a replicates of corruption in Nigeria.

Young Erhiurhoro; Kjc is a reporter and a member of the Urhobo Historical Society.


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