The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, said many who think they can get away with corruption are often caught up by the law, even if it takes years.
Osinbajo said this at the unveiling of the Operation Manuals for Integrity and Zero Tolerance Clubs, in Abuja, organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to him, the law has no time limit, people who steal and think they can get away with it are often caught up by the law, even if atimes it could take up to 10 years.
“There is no time bar or statute of limitation against a crime. A man who steals this year can be arrested in 10 years’ time for his crimes.
“So when you steal, you cannot sleep with both eyes closed because every knock at the door will get you worried.
“Which is why the establishment of integrity clubs in schools is so important”, he said.
Osinbajo said it was important to first recognise that integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness are crucial individual and collective attributes for successful people and communities.
He added that every act of corruption is not just against an individual but against the society at large.
“Every public officer who steals robs the Nigerian society of funds for health care, education and so on.
“In our integrity clubs, we must become policemen against corruption and wrongdoing
“Whether it is a member of government or a shop assistant or your friend in class who is cheating, they destroy our reputation,” he added.
The vice president commended “the visionary Chairman of the EFCC for the great initiative”.
“For realising that we must develop an anti-corruption army. That army is waiting in our schools, and we must teach them early that corruption is the worst destroyer of destinies and people.
“And they must fight it as you fight a mortal enemy in war.
“The greatest challenge which we face currently is how to safeguard the youth from the ethical crisis and confusion confronting our nation,” he added.
The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the choice of school children and youths as torch bearers in this important crusade was formed by the fact that they were vulnerable to the effect of economic and financial crimes.
He highlighted that the Commission had designed programmes and activities aimed at nurturing a culture of integrity in the formative years of young Nigerians.
According to him, two of such programmes are the EFCC Integrity Club for primary and secondary schools and Zero Tolerance Club for tertiary institutions.
He added that the clubs were designed not only to improve children’s and youth’s understanding and sensitivity to the issue of economic and financial crimes but also to promote integrity, honesty, transparency and accountability.
“The manuals which are being unveiled today are viable templates that will ensure that our children and youth are exposed to impactful and life-transforming values in an organised and sustainable manner.
“They will serve as a guide to all actors that have roles to play in moulding the characters of this young population in various schools and also offer the Commission a framework for quality assurance and control.
“We believe that this Club adds a welcome variety to the learning experience of our children and youth with long-term potential as a catalyst for the fight against economic and financial crimes in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, represented by Adegboye Adebola, said the manuals would serve as advocacy tools in mobilising Nigerian students to embrace patriotic zeal in fighting against economic and financial crimes.
“For, the earlier we start to inculcate the values of integrity and handwork in our students, the better for our nation,” he said.
The Principal, Model Secondary School, Maitama, Elizabeth Godwin, emphasized the school’s stand against corruption.
She said, “We will do everything within our power to encourage our students to stand up against all forms of crimes in society.”