Following recent successes recorded in the war against corruption owing to the recovery of unaccounted wealth, the Presidency has commenced efforts to strengthen the workings of the whistle-blower policy.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who stressed that “government thinks that the whistle-blower mechanism is too important to be left without a strategic, national direction”.
Noting that the enthusiastic response of Nigerians to the whistle-blower policy has boosted the tempo of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration, he stated that the government was considering ways of enhancing the structural capacity of the whistle-blower mechanism.
Shehu stated that government was 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.
The presidential spokesman commended the zeal and patriotism of Nigerians for responding positively to the whistleblower incentive policy, which is intended to expose hidden looted funds.
He stated that “no public policy can succeed or go far enough without public support and participation”, and that “when the citizens realise they are victims of corruption, they may feel encouraged to join the efforts to expose looted funds”.
Shehu explained that the huge and incredible amounts of looted funds being recovered by EFCC and the whistle-blower efforts “is a revelation about the mindless, callous and reckless scale on which Nigeria had been robbed by unpatriotic and egregiously selfish public officials”.
He identified the election of Buhari in 2015 as 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”.
The presidential aide also indicated that the government is getting suggestions to bring the issue of illegal weapons in the hand of citizens that are used to fuel intra and inter-communal violence under the purview whistle blower policy.
According to him, “Yes, it is true, the presidency has 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.”