Remarks at the Inauguration of the Board of the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA)

The journey to this inauguration formally started about a year ago with the signing of the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Law 2019. The law is primarily directed at sanitising the public/civil service and ensuring that both public and civil servants at both the state and local government levels carry out their responsibilities without institutionalised corruption. 

We would be lying to ourselves if we do not acknowledge the endemic corruption in the system. Just recently, you may have come across various videos on social media where some people made statements alluding to not being given access to state coffers. Apparently, these people feel that the state’s accounts should be made available to them to do as they please.

So, with this inauguration of the Oyo State Anti- Corruption Agency (OYACA), we are sending out a clear message, here in Oyo State, we have zero-tolerance for corruption. Any person elected, employed or engaged in any capacity in the public or civil service in Oyo State, who accepts or promises to accept money, fees, donations, loans, gifts, or any other reward for rendering a service to members of the public will be investigated and made to face the full wrath of the law.

It will no longer be business as usual. Public/civil servants are called to serve, not to steal. And I trust that the members of OYACA will do all in their power to ensure that all matters brought to their attention are judiciously handled. There are to be no sacred cows, anyone who runs afoul of this law will be prosecuted swiftly.

OYACA is here today represented by members of the board. Men and women of integrity. We have the Chairman of the board as Justice Eni Esan, a retired judge and former President of Oyo State Customary Court of Appeal. The secretary of the board is Mr Ibrahim Oyemonla Tijani, the Director, Ministry of Justice.

Other members are Prince Oyebade Oyedepo, Barr. Temitope Ayorinde, Dns. Esther Olapade, Mr A.S Ashaolu and CSP Erindero Lawrence.

So I ask that members of this agency continue maintaining the impeccable records for which they were picked. The goal should be to ensure that the Oyo State public/civil service becomes the benchmark.

When collaborations become necessary, OYACA is empowered to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

I will always maintain that for us to build the Nigeria we dream of, we must create strong systems and institutions. We must also be willing to work and make sacrifices for those systems to function correctly. This agency is part of the systems we are putting in place in Oyo State.  So instead of offering a bribe to get ahead for that contract or promotion, why not be patient and wait your turn?

Corruption works with a giver and receiver. So, I urge the good people of Oyo State to refrain from offering bribes and to refuse to give bribes to any public officers even if they insist on it. We have so many channels to report such misconduct, and more are on the way. Please use our feedback channels to make a report against any public officer who is involved in corruption.

With that being said, I hereby pronounce the Oyo State Anti Corruption Agency inaugurated.

~ Governor Seyi Makinde, December 22, 2020

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