Date Published: 07/21/10
Farida Waziri's OFR, that is a well deserved honour By OJELIMAFE FAVOUR ANTHONY
“Our men should not be afraid. They should see us as good, if not better managers who they need to work with to realize individual, corporate and national aspiration…” These were the exact words of Moji Makanjuola, Manager, Nigerian Television Authority, NTA. Moji made this statement over a decade ago, by virtue of her position as the National President of National Association of Nigerian Journalist, NAWOJ.
There is no doubt that Mrs. Farida Mzamber Waziri who was appointed Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May 2008 has distinguished herself in the fight against financial and economic crimes which today has earned her a deserving honour as a recipient of the Officer of the Federal Republic , OFR.
By Thursday, July 22, 2010, Farida Mzamber Waziri would be walking eleganntly to the podium to be decorated by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for standing out in the discharge of her duties. Born on July 7, 1946 and raised in Gboko, Benue State , she obtained her LLB (Hons) and LLM degrees from the University of Lagos , BL from the Nigerian Law School , and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan , and attended the National War College , Abuja . Among others, she is the author of Advance Fee Fraud, National Security and the Law.
Farida Waziri, no doubt, was in Moji Makanjuola’s mind when she made the above statement about ten years ago. In August 2008, the EFCC, under the leadership of Farida Waziri, arrested former National Deputy Chairman of the PDP Bode George in Lagos and arraigned him and four others on a 163 count-charge of conspiracy, disobedience to lawful order, abuse of office and alleged illegal award of contracts worth N84 billion while he was chairman of the NPA. In October 2009, Bode George was found guilty and sentenced to jail for 30 months. Today, against many schools of thought, against every odd, against threat to her life, Olabode George is today serving a well deserved jail term, courtesy of Waziri.
If we appreciate people that make sacrifices to the nation, there is no doubt that more people will be up and doing. The Federal Government is highly commended for this initiative as I see the award as not only for Waziri but for the management and staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC
A cursory look at the past activities of the lioness showed that she led the West African delegation on Advance Fee Fraud to Lyons , France in 1996. She led the Nigeria delegation to Dallas , Texas for a seminar organized by the United State Secret Service in 1998.
Farida who started her career with the Nigeria Police Force as a recruit in 1965 and rose through the ranks until she retired as an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, in the 2000 on reaching the mandatory retirement after putting in 35 years in service, breaking the record as the first woman from the Northern region to so rise to such an enviable position.
While in the service Farida’s records showed that she held the positions of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), screening and selection, Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Police Force, C.I.D Alagbon, Lagos , Commissioner of Police, General Investigation and Commissioner of Police in charge of X-Squad. In this last position she was responsible for handling cases of bribery and corruption within the police force. She also served as Commissioner of Police (special fraud unit) in which role she recorded the first conviction for Advance Fee Fraud in Nigeria .
I make bold to join Makanjuola in saying that indeed our men should not be afraid. They should see women as good, if not better managers who they need to work with to realize individual, corporate and national aspiration. With all this, there is no doubt that Farida Waziri is indeed a woman whom the cap fits.
OJELIMAFE FAVOUR ANTHONY