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The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has advised the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to uphold professionalism in the discharge of its responsibilities so as to sustain the confidence Nigerians reposed in the commission.

The governor stated this while talking with members of the Commission who were on a courtesy visit to him at Government House, Uyo.

Emmanuel, who noted that “the commission which is a reputable anti-graft agency has commanded the respect of Nigerians following its operations and understanding of the workings of a democratic setting,” should work harder at maintaining its integrity.

“Members of the commission are selected purely on merit, and it is impossible to believe that the Commission can be compromised or reduced to a tool for a political witch-hunt.”

The governor, however, decried the attitude of frivolous petitions by some Nigerians, describing such petitions as smear publications rooted in misunderstanding or sheer mischief.

Emmanuel used the occasion to enlist the services of the anti-graft agency in the training of political office holders as well as its workforce, stating that such programmes would go a long way in sensitising the people on the dangers of engaging in corrupt practices.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Secretary, South South Zone of the ICPC, Mr. Elvis Oglafa, had said, “The visit was to intimate the governor on the sensitisation programme held in the state and to take the anti-corruption campaign to the doorsteps of the people at the grassroots.”

Oglafa added, “Akwa Ibom is one of the states with low reports of petitions. I, therefore, advise the people to develop a positive mindset towards public office holders because most of the petitions written about those in positions of authority are based on misconceptions and disagreements.”

Oglafa, however, called on the people to monitor public office holders, stressing that the responsibility of checking the excesses of those occupying positions of authority should not be left in the hands of the commission alone.

He noted that every member of the society had a role to play in fighting corruption.

He also commended the leadership of the state for enviable performance in terms of infrastructure and capacity building programmes.

Culled from the Punch.