The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has promised never to provide cover for the criminally-minded youth within their fold in order to give proper effect to the fight against crimes and criminality across the country.
The umbrella body of the Nigerian students made the pledge in Ibadan on Friday during a courtesy visit to the Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Led by the Chairman of its Joint Campus Committee, Oyo State Chapter, Olujuwon Asubiojo, the team conveyed the association’s satisfaction on the Commission’s effort at ridding the Nigerian society of economic and financial crimes, pledging its readiness to use its influence to expose all forms of corruption across the nation’s higher institutions of learning.
“Though, it is our responsibility to protect the interest of students, we will not protect the interest of criminals,” he said.
While stating the purpose of the visit, Asubiojo noted that the association had always wanted to relate with the Commission on how best the two bodies could collaborate to change the disturbing trend of increasing rate of youth involvement in criminal activities.
According to him, the trend has reached a worrisome level that calls for strategic collaboration between their association and the anti-graft body with a view to finding the means to change the narrative in the interest of the future of the country.
“If we do not join hands with this Commission to fight corruption, corruption will come back to fight us. Fight against corruption is not just the duty of the EFCC, it is a patriotic effort we must enlist in,” he enthused.
Asubiojo also disclosed to the EFCC some of the areas where NANS wanted to join in the campaign, adding that his members were willing to feature in any capacity that will extensively address issues of corruption in the academic environment.
“We are already planning programmes to sensitize youths in the tertiary institutions on the ills of corruption to the nation. We would also implore the Commission to beam its searchlight on issues of corruption at the administrative level in our tertiary institutions. A lot is going on there which the EFCC needs to show more than passing interest on,” he added.
While receiving the NANS delegation on behalf of the Commission’s acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, the Ibadan Zonal Head, Friday Ebelo, described the Commission as a youth-friendly body, adding that the sustained crackdown on internet fraudsters in recent times was to dissuade the youth from starting out their lives as criminals and ex-convicts.
He thanked the student leaders for the visit, their suggestions and offering to be part of the effort to make Nigeria a crime-free society.
“The image of this country has been heavily battered by the nefarious activities of the corrupt few. We are a hardworking people and it is just a few that are denting the image of the country,” he said.
The EFCC boss charged them to face their life challenges with determination and ensure that they give their best in all they do, saying ‘hard work pays.’
“Youths should invest their time in things that will bring pride to their families, not shame” he admonished.
He then assured them of robust collaboration henceforth, adding that all issues brought before the Commission will be looked into.