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President Muhammadu Buhari while speaking in New York at the weekend appealed to African leaders to fight tirelessly to get rid of corruption, lamenting that the continent has remained at the far end of global development index because of its menace.
The president spoke in his capacity as the African Union champion on efforts to eliminate corruption in the continent at a High-Level side event on ‘’Food Security Response: Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Securing Asset Returns for Sustainable Development’‘, on the margins of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Providing his perspectives on the effects of corruption in the continent and the way forward at the event co-hosted by the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian leader in a statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina said he was honoured to serve as AU Champion on anti-corruption since 2018:
‘As you are all aware, this will be my last official participation at the United Nations General Assembly as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘I remain honoured and privileged to be president of Nigeria for two terms and I am grateful to the African Union for making me the continental organisation’s champion on efforts to eliminate corruption nationally and continent-wide.
‘Over the years, we came to the painful realisation on how deeply embedded corruption has become in our countries and continent, as well as how corrosive it can be.
‘Corruption has dwarfed our growth and tainted our nations and continent. Africa remains at the far end of development index and concerted efforts made in the last few years need to be sustained, deepened by good governance and accountability that are guided by the rule of law.
‘I have strong faith that Africa and our national governments can do this with strong resolve and commitment to eliminating illicit financial flows. We need strong partnerships from our global partners to ensure that these efforts succeed. A developed and stable Africa will not only be a global partner for peace but for sustainable development and progress.’
Buhari therefore challenged his colleagues that for the continent to rise to its full potentials, ’we must work tirelessly to get rid of corruption or by fighting it 24/7.’
‘Our national resources must not find safe-havens around the world. This fight is a necessity and not a choice to give our citizens a better life through economic prosperity, social peace, and security,’ he added.
The president urged his colleagues to recall the United Nations General Assembly Special Session Against Corruption political declaration of June 2021 and ensure its effective implementation toward global food security and sustainable infrastructural development in the continent.