Inside Nigeria

I Went Through Hell as EFCC Chair, Says Farida Waziri Who Lost Husband, Daughter in A Year

Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri, on Tuesday revealed that she went through hell as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  losing her husband and daughter within one year after surviving an assassination attempt.

She was stunned when she realized that her predecessor did not send a word of condolence all through her trying times.

The ex-EFCC chair said these in her speech during the public presentation of her memoir, “One Step Ahead-Life As A Spy, Detective And Anti-Graft Czar”, in Abuja.

She said: “Along the way, there were assassination attempts, face-off with cranks and officials in foreign lands, thrust and parry with criminals and personal tragedies of losing loved ones, particularly husband and daughter within one year for which my predecessors did not express their condolences.

“Lastly, my personal reason for the book. I had been so grossly maligned not many people knew who the real Farida Waziri is. Fabrications from malicious quarters had created a distorted perception of my persona.

“When you read One Step Ahead, it will be easy to see the lies of the past for what they are. I have no doubt that after reading the book, you will be able to separate facts from fiction and let go of those mythologies.

“So, here today, we are going to unveil the true picture of Farida Waziri.

“It is the story of a young girl’s journey through life, from being a Catholic girl to a Muslim; from being born of a Tiv family in Benue State to becoming a matriarch in Tangale family from Gombe; from a police officer who was the best recruit in 1967 to becoming Assistant Inspector General of Police, who also became a lawyer.

“Today, I am rendering my account by presenting my mosaic experience – as Special Branch operative, as pioneer head of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), as a detective at CID, as commissioner of police, as former chair of EFCC, as wife of Nigeria’s ambassador to Turkey, and as a lawyer that sat through one of the stormy moments of this country and witnessed first-hand behind-the-scene parody of justice that was the aftermath of the so-called 1995 coup.

“I have recreated vignettes. These include my interactions with the late President Umar Yar’Adua. Myths and mythologies about Nigeria’s endemic corruption are due to the chameleonic forms of the scourge. I had the privilege to dissect the problem from the vantage position of being at the helm of SFU and EFCC and I have simplified the anatomy of fraud and public office corruption in Nigeria.”

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