By David Onilede
An anti-corruption coalition, Citizens United Against Corruption, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to use operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in its anti- corruption operations.
The Convener of the group gave the advice on Sunday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the DSS should be restricted to enforcing operations strictly relating to national security matters.
He said that the statutory responsibility of the DSS relates primarily to national security matters, adding that deploying its operatives to anti-corruption enforcement operations would compromise and pollute its national security credentials.
Onwubiko said that though the president should be supported in his anti-corruption crusade, it should be seen to be driven by dispassionate commitment to national interest.
He described Citizens United Against Corruption, as an informal coalition of non-governmental individuals and sub-groups assisting the government in its fight against corruption.
He stressed the need for the government to have a credible platform in its fight against corruption devoid of sentiment and partisanship.
Onwubiko said: “In the process of fighting corruption, there are a number of pitfalls which the government should address.
“It is not just the government; the National Assembly has a lot to do in this respect by way of addressing the lapses that we find in agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC.
“There is need for clarity regarding their statutory mandate.
“There is also the need to have clear understanding of the roles of the DSS in the war against corruption because we are of the belief that the DSS is not the right body to tackle corruption per se.
“Rather the DSS should restrict itself to tackling the issue of terrorism and other threats to internal security.
“These are much more important to every Nigerian than deploying its operatives to chase those alleged to have collected bribes.
“That is a matter for the police; that is a matter for the ICPC and EFCC.
“So, we are saying, let there be a kind of support that has to be given to these agencies.”
Onwubiko pledged that the coalition would remain apolitical to enable it deliver its mandate with credibility even as seeks to galvanise resources to undertake its operation on a larger scale.
Earlier at news briefing, Onwubiko called on the Federal Government to safeguard the nation’s investment potentials by ensuring that the proceeds from corruption were retrieved and pumped into the national economy.