The National Anti-Corruption and Security Forum has called for immediate crackdown on Civil Society Organizations indulged in extortion and subversive activities in Nigeria. The call is coming on the heels of the increasing wave of insecurity across the country.
In a statement after her emergency meeting held on Friday 19th January, 2024, the Spokesperson of the Forum Dr. John Adewale Adekunle said “Our attention has been drawn to the criminal activities of some civil society organizations and groups which have been heckling the Service Chiefs, Permanent Secretaries, National Assembly Service Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Some Private Organizations.
“They claim to rely on the Freedom of Information Act (2011) in the bid to enhance the renewed hope agenda of Government, and request the agencies to furnish them with details of their income and expenditure, and other information.”
Identifying some of the CSOs indulging in these activities, the Forum said “ Prominent amongst these CSOs are the National Transparency and Accountability Network Project, International Centre for Accountability, Equity and Justice, National Accountability Ambassadors of Nigeria, Advocacy for Good Ethics and Accountability, Development Network for Good Governance and others which pose as anti-corruption watchdogs, and threaten to exploit both the mainstream and social media space to ventilate their mendacious blackmail with ulterior motives of being paid to be silent. For all intents and purposes such activities are criminal and subversive, and constitute serious threats to National Security.”
The Forum hence called on the General Public to “disregard the spurious allegations from such Civil Society Organizations, as plans are being concluded to work with the Armed Forces, Security Agencies, Intelligence Community and relevant agencies to investigate the records of the Trustees and Associates of these groups for immediate crackdown.
The laws and instruments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be fully deployed to track these self-styled ‘corruption fighters’ and those internal staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government who connive with them. Blackmail and fake news are subversive activities and must not be allowed to thrive in Nigeria.”
The Forum is comprised of Experts working with the Security and Intelligence Community. Recall that some Civil Society Organizations involved in similar extortionary activities were apprehended in 2023 by security forces.