By NBF News
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Acting-President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed that there will be no escape route for corrupt public officials. To show its seriousness in combating corruption and ensure there is integrity among public officials, he said, the government would have to go tough with corrupt officials. Jonathan stated this while inaugurating members of the newly reconstituted Code of Conduct in Abuja.

The Acting President charged the new Code of Conduct Tribunal members to verify assets of public officials at intervals saying, 'As you are aware, the Bureau has the mandate to establish and maintain a high standard of morality in the conduct of government business, and to ensure that that actions and behaviour of public officers conform to the highest standards of public morality and accountability.

'This is carried out through the entrenchment of the code for public officers as enshrined in the 5th schedule to the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.' he said.

He recounted why he had on several occasions pledged his administration's readiness to pursue with renewed vigour the fight against corruption that has impeded the development of Nigeria saying; 'It is in furtherance of this commitment that I today inaugurate the board of the code of conduct bureau.

'I therefore charge you to cue into this administration's vision to ensure a corrupt free public service. You can do this by taking up the challenge to make assets declaration exercise more relevant in the anti-corruption drive. To this end, verification of assets declared by public officers at the beginning and end of tenure as well as prompt investigation of breaches of the code should be addressed with all seriousness.'

Dr. Jonathan maintained that the future of the country rested heavily on the Bureau because if the public service code of conduct is strictly adhered to by public servants at every level, there will be little for EFCC and ICPC to do but to watch men and women of integrity lead this country on an accelerated path of sustainable development.

'Often the problem of this country is not the lack of good ideas, policies, strategies but the lack of personal integrity in high places which distorts all plans as they are reconfigured to serve personal, special and corrupt interests. You should not be satisfied with merely processing code of conduct forms and prosecuting the odd individuals from time to time based on petitions.'

'You must undertake periodic and regular evaluation to ensure that at all times, public officials stick to the guidelines governing the conduct in the public service. I wish to assure you that government will give you all the support you need and adequately empower you with resources to achieve the required result and meet the expectations of Nigeria. '

In his remark the Chairman of the Bureau, Mr. Sam Saba said the war against corruption is usually perceived as a difficult one because of the very nature of the insidious crime.

'By nature, it is a very secret crime. This is why Nigerians cannot and must not leave the fight against corruption only to the anti-corruption agencies. We must collectively fight this hydra-headed monster to finish. We share in this laudable aspiration because the fight against corruption is only one of the aspects of good governance', he assured