The Presidency has commenced efforts to strengthen the mechanism of the Whistle-blower Policy, following breakthroughs recorded in the war against corruption and unaccounted wealth.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the enthusiastic response of Nigerians to the Whistle-blower Policy has boosted the tempo of the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He told State House correspondents on Wednesday that the government is considering ways of enhancing the structural capacity of the whistle-blower mechanism.
Mr Shehu noted that government is also considering empowering the mechanism by either bringing it under the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), or some other body to imbue the process with a strategic national purpose.
“In a word, government thinks that the whistle-blower mechanism is too important to be left without a strategic, national direction,” he observed.
Worst Betrayal Of Voters’ Mandate
The President’s spokesman commended the zeal and patriotism of Nigerians for responding positively to the whistle-blower incentive policy, aimed at exposing hidden looted funds across Nigeria.
According to him, “no public policy can succeed or go far enough without public support and participation”, and “when the citizens realise they are victims of corruption, they may feel encouraged to join the efforts to expose looted funds”.
Mr Shehu explained that the recovery of huge amounts of looted funds through the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and whistle-blowers “is a revelation about the mindless, callous and reckless scale on which Nigeria had been robbed by unpatriotic and egregiously selfish public officials”.
He said President Buhari’s election in 2015 was “a divine intervention in response to the desperate cries of Nigerians for urgent change”, adding that “stealing by officials under a democratic government at the expense of people’s welfare is worst betrayal of voters’ mandate”.
Presence Of Illegal Weapons
The President’s spokesman also disclosed that government was getting suggestions to bring the issue of illegal weapons in the hands of citizens that are used to fuel intra and inter-communal violence under the purview of the Whistle-blower Policy.
“Yes, it is true, the Presidency has received suggestions that call for the Whistle-blower Policy to be extended to the possession of illegal weapons by powerful individuals in the country.
“The government will look at all that and make a pronouncement. Nigerians would be encouraged to expose the presence of illegal weapons in the homes of powerful politicians and other public figures who may use those deadly arms for sinister political agenda,” he said.
Shehu stressed that those exposing looted funds deserve all the encouragement and protection to sustain their enthusiasm, with a view to encouraging more citizens to participate in what he called the “major aspect of the anti-corruption crusade”.
Commending Nigerians for their support, the Buhari administration assured the citizens that all recovered funds would be applied to their welfare and happiness, adding that no country can achieve progress with corruption.