Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Port Harcourt, Mr. Ishaq Salihu has called on Ijaw youths In Niger Delta region to be innovative and shun all acts of corruption.
He made the call on Wednesday August 23 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, when members of Ijaw Young Entrepreneurs paid him a courtesy visit. According to Salihu, with the coming of the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, corrupt practices are more difficult to perpetrate. ” There is no longer room for corruption. Nobody can steal money and end up with it abroad. The noose is gradually getting tighter and tighter”, he said.
Salihu observed that the Niger Delta region was the life wire of the Nigerian economy. “ Great people came from this region, great Nigerians from the creeks and hinterlands who had and are still contributing to what Nigeria is today”, he said.
On the issue of illegal oil bunkering, Salihu urged the Young Entrepreneurs to use their platform to report any form of crime and criminality within the Niger Delta region. While noting that illegal oil bunkering has brought about underdevelopment within the region, he stressed that such practices cannot thrive without the active connivance and support of the people. “The Ijaw people are very industrious, peaceful and loving. When an oil well is broken, you have oil spillage, you deprived that community from fishing and by so doing, the economic wellbeing of that community is wiped out completely”, he said.
He further stated that the idea of forming a group like theirs and having the idea of partnering with the Commission is a good one.
Salihu sued for peace and mutual understanding in the Niger Delta, saying that a peaceful, successful and thriving Niger Delta Region will ultimately berth a prosperous nation. “There is no way development can occur in the atmosphere of uncertainty; there is no way business can thrive when there is insecurity within the region, at the end of the day, no other group can change the narrative and change it for good but you”, he said.
In his response, President of Ijaw Young Entrepreneurs, Bristol Emmanuel Alagbariya commended the Commission for its role in the fight against corruption and condemned the attack on one of its staff. “It is something we must condemn, it is evil. Any attack on your institution is an attack on Nigeria because the sustenance and the future of Nigeria depends on the functionality of your agency”, he said.
According to him, core issues of development of the Niger Delta region have not been addressed by its leaders, hence genuine agitation by the youths. He said that the issue of unemployment was a threat to Niger Delta region, “when the youths are massively unemployed, there are some desperate people who might use them as willing tools to perpetrate crimes.”
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