VICTOR DURUMAKU, Owerri
The Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Solomon Amatu, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being selective in its operation and fight against corruption.
He urged the officials of the anti-graft agency to always apply utmost sincerity, uprightness and patriotism in their fight against corrupt public office holders.
According to him, for the anti-graft agency to triumph in its crusade against graft and financial impropriety by those entrusted with positions of authority and influence, it must purge itself of the cancer of sentiments and selective devices and should honour those who served meritoriously before leaving office.
The Bishop stated this while speaking to newsmen shortly after a thanksgiving mass marking the successful completion of the tenure of the Chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Onwuka Egbule and his 70th birthday ceremony held at the St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Umunakanu Owerre, Ehime Mbano Council Area of Imo State.
The Bishop said: “Corruption is the bane of this country and for us to tackle it squarely, we must be sincere, honest and nobody should be seen as a sacred cow. For now, there appears to be a selective approach in the system and it does not augur well for us”.
He extolled the virtues of Chief Egbule as an ideal patriot who served the nation meritoriously without blemish and enjoined public office holders to emulate him.
“Chief Egbule happens to be my son and I am proud of him. While in office, he did his best and maintained an enviable integrity, just as he touched the lives of many in his community”, the cleric said.
The Bishop, however, urged Nigerians in positions of authority to strive to write their names in Gold through exemplary performance, decrying the raging security challenges ravaging the nation and enjoined the Federal Government to apply more proactive measures to remedy the situation.
Chief Egbule, a 1978 UNN Graduate (Economics), who was first appointed chairman of the Commission from 7th August 2009 to 17th August 2019, expressed gratitude to God for his mercies and blessings, even as he described his experience in public service as a mixed bag.
“Power usually belongs to the green pastures but I came to render selfless service. I worked under four different Presidents of this country and I was first appointed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and to have successfully worked under them was not easy. It is a balancing act and you have to say it exactly the way it is (truth)”, he stated.
Asked if he would accept another appointment if called upon by the government, Chief Egbule, who is a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Personnel Management, (MNIPM); Fellow, Corporate Institute of Administrators (FCIA) as well as Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC),said: “Although retired, I am not tired and if called again to serve, I will not hesitate, I have issued circular for the implementation of the new minimum wage that is acceptable to both the government and the organized labour but the question is this “at what level, do we go?
National Vice Chairman, Christian Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, HRH Eze Dr. Oliver Ohanwe, extolled Chief Egbule as an accomplished seasoned administrator who has brought honour and glory to his community and Imo State through enviable records of service.
Eze Ohanwe, who is the traditional ruler of Ihim Autonomous Community, Isiala Mbano Council Area, said Chief Egbule, while in office, maintained the enviable integrity of the Igbo race and brought honour and fame to Federal Civil Servants.
He enjoined Nigerians in leadership positions to shun corruption in all its ramifications so as to bequeath lasting legacies to the rising and in-coming generations.
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