Ahead of the April general elections, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], has reiterated the need to elect credible and forthright leaders by Nigerians.
This charge was given on Thursday by the EFCC Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri while receiving a delegation of the West Africa Election Observers Network, who came to pay her a courtesy visit.
Waziri said that good governance was imperative in Nigeria and in the West-African sub-region and that only credible leaders could make it possible.
"President Goodluck Jonathan has always emphasized the need for free and fair elections. This is important for good governance and we need this in Nigeria and in the sub-region", she said.
While challenging the citizenry to scrutinize the profile of aspirants seeking their votes, Waziri said "we have tried to restrict ourselves to the limit permitted us by law. While we have no power to ban anybody we are investigating or prosecuting from contesting an election, nothing stops us from making available the information about the status of their case with us. It is now left for political parties, the constituents and indeed the electorates to determine who they want to represent them."
Vice- Chairman of the West Africa Election Observers Network, WAEON, Oumar Diallo, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said that the EFCC was very important in the enthronement of transparency and integrity in the area of election and other issues.
"We believe that there is a linkage between corrupt practices and electoral fraud. We have come to see how our network could partner with the EFCC to ensure electoral integrity. We also believe that a linkage like this is important to ensure good governance," he said.
WAEON�s ten-man delegation came from Guinea; Liberia; Niger; Ghana; Mali; Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria and the United States.
Its Chairman, Comrade Moshood Erubami said that his network was drawn to the EFCC by the rising profile of the Commission in its assigned mandate of fighting economic and financial crimes.
"The EFCC is making appreciable impact in our nation. We believe that the entire West-African sub-region has a lot to benefit from the activities of the Commission," he said.
Other members of the network on the delegation include Dr. Dansa Krurruma(Niger); Henrietta F. Askie(Liberia);� Sita Adomoc (Niger); Konde Jean(Burkina Faso) Courtney Creek(Ghana) among others.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, has thrown its weight behind the EFCC on the need for special courts to try corruption cases. The National Deputy President of the Association, Ifeyinwa Omowole, who led eleven members of the Association on a courtesy visit to the EFCC Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri, decried the slow pace of adjudication of cases in different courts across the country and said that only the establishment of special courts to try corruption cases could save the nation the delay and frustration associated with the judiciary.
"We are in support of special courts for the trial of corruption cases. It is only this arrangement that can remove the clog in the wheel of justice and make the anti-graft war more impactful", she said.� In her response, Waziri expressed confidence and optimism that the anti-graft war was winnable. She explained that "we only need to apply drastic measures against the corrupt to make the war successful. Let me assure you that the war is winnable and we will win with the support of all citizens especially stakeholders like you."
Waziri lamented that the society has not given women a chance to excel but advised that in the face of the challenges facing women, they should never be deterred.
"The battle has been more fierce and complex because one of you, a woman is in the saddle. The evil men know women are more difficult to compromise and that is why I have come under more attack than any person. This also explains why we have lost more officers during attacks than any other time", she stressed. She promised to remain un-daunted and un-fazed in her assigned responsibilities.