Ex-gov, Two Ministers Sponsoring Protests Against Us, Says EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that a former governor and two former ministers are behind a series of protests against the anti-graft agency.

It said despite the planned protests its operatives would continue to do their work no matter whose ox is gored.

The spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, Dele Oyewale, disclosed while fielding questions from journalists during a press briefing organized by the Strategic Communications Inter-agency Policy Committee (SCIPC) under the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

The anti-graft agency had on Wednesday alerted Nigerians on the plan by what it described as “a shadowy group” to instigate a protest against the commission, adding that it was already working in concert with sister security agencies to deal with possible threats to the peace and security of Nigeria.

Responding to a question at the briefing on the main issue that prompted the planned protest, Oyewale said it was because the activities of the commission were already affecting some “looters of the commonwealth”.

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He said: “Generally and holistically, all of these people that are talking about ending the EFCC, don’t end EFCC, kill EFCC, don’t kill EFCC, they are people that are tangentially affected by the activities of the commission.

“If you have a commission like the EFCC, you are not receiving some kind of an attack, it either means that we are not effective, or the public is not concerned about what we are doing.

“So, we know that, yes, our activities are affecting people that have one thing or the other to hide, and we know that it’s natural that they want to fight us.

“And that is why we came out publicly to say that tomorrow, the planned protests, what they have said is not what they actually mean. And we have a responsibility to tell the public.”

He said that the agency had received a report that about 259 civil society organizations under the aegis of the Coalition for Transparency and Economic Reform, have dissociated themselves from the planned protests.

Oyewale said: “If you have 259 civil society organizations coming out publicly to say that we are not going to support you (protests), then, their moral base is totally weakened.

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“Even in this same group, they are saying that their own intelligence shows that an ex-governor, and two former ministers, according to them, are the arrowhead behind the so-called protests. That is their own intelligence.

“We also have our intelligence, but the sum and substance of everything is that the protest is not in the overall interest of the nation and that youths should be wary so that they will not be recruited, they will not be used as cannon fodders in a cause that they really don’t understand.

“So, you can see that across the country, the Commission is receiving very, very reliable support, including the media and every stakeholder in the anti-corruption project.”

The EFCC spokesperson, however, warned parents and guardians to prevail on their children not to join protests on the issues they have no clear understanding about.

He also called on all heads of institutions to ensure their students don’t join.

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