Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, led a marathon anti-corruption walk across downtown Ilorin on Friday amid renewed calls on Nigerians, especially young people, to shun graft or activities capable of stunting development.
Tagged Nigerian Youths Walk Against Corruption, AbdulRazaq was joined in the over two-hour walk by the Speaker of the House of Assembly Yakubu Danladi; zonal head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Isyaku Sharu; State Coordinator of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Esther Ikupolati; members of the House of Assembly; hundreds of members of the NYSC, artisans and civil society organisations.
The walk was one of the EFCC’s public awareness programmes in conjunction with the NYSC to draw attention to the danger of corruption.
AbdulRazaq, who arrived the EFCC office at 7 am and joined the walk from the beginning to the end, repeated President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that corruption would kill the country if the country fails to kill it.
“We have been walking the talk, now we are walking in support of the war (against corruption). The message is very clear: kill corruption or it will kill us all,” he said.
“We have to do the right thing and be cautious. We have seen what has happened to those that have been in (this) position before us. Nobody wants to live office and be going to EFCC’s office daily. So, we will do the right thing in Kwara State state. We appreciate the EFCC, they had earlier given us over N100million. They have invited us (again) to collect another N200m (recovered looted funds); they have made a lot of progress.”
Asked what he thought was the reason for Kwarans always wanting to catch a glimpse of him at every opportunity he moves around, AbdulRazaq said the excitement apparently flows from his investment in projects that have direct impact on the masses such as water, health, education, and roads, as well as his constant identification with the people.
“We remain popular with the people because we have invested and are still investing in projects that really make the difference in their lives. We have restored water after many years. We have invested in basic health care, education, and road and people can tell the difference,” he said when the walk terminated at the EFCC office.
Danladi said the corruption crusade requires the support of all Nigerians to succeed, asserting that graft is deadlier to the society than HIV/AIDS and must be stamped out, especially in Kwara where he lamented how billions of naira have been diverted to private pockets at the expense of the masses.
Sharu, who lauded AbdulRazaq for being an anti-graft crusader, said the agency has recorded 48 convictions and recovered at least N8.5bn in cash and properties in Kwara since it began operation last year.
Sharu said the agency is also probing the alleged diversion of over N3bn from the controversial Light Up Kwara project.