Experts at the MacArthur Foundation seminar on Anti- Corruption have identified key issues that should drive the campaign on Anti corruption in Nigeria.
They spoke on “Anti-corruption and Promotion of Good Governance across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, during a town hall meeting at Daaty Hotel in Ewet Housing, Uyo.
In his presentation, Dr. Ahmed Yahaya, an Associate Professor of the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna, spoke on “Amplifying the fight against corruption and enhancing accountability among local communities in Nigeria,”. He described corruption as “an abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” He said corruption has undermined people’s trust in the political and economic system, institution and leaders, adding that corruption can cost people their freedom in health, money and their lives. “It corrodes the fabrics of society”, he said.
Dr. Yahaya noted also that corruption could be fought through comics and cartooning, peaceful protests, dramatics, spotlights and awareness campaigns. According to Yahaya, corruption can also be reduced through writing of petitions to government, educational boards and officials that have the power to create change.
Also speaking, the second guest speaker, Dr. Etim Frank, a political analyst and Lecturer at the University of Uyo, said corruption has done a lot of damage to the society. He described corruption as “arrested development” saying that corruption has arrested the dishonest and illegal behaviour especially people who are in power. He maintained that Nigerian leaders have blocked the development that should come through political, economic, religious, moral, judicial and bureaucratic stratagems.
“Nowadays, churches practice corruption mostly and that is why Nigeria is dying instalmentally”, he said.
“Government don’t have political will and the judiciary is sick, and the people lack transparency in the conduct of public affairs”, he added.
“The programme against corruption must be systematic, comprehensive, consistent and focused”, he continued, arguing that it must not be selective in application but well-publicized and all-inclusive. Dr. Etim suggested that Anti-corruption should be launched in schools to create a bridge and they should demand accountability to protect people.
In a Goodwill Message, Barr. Clifford Thomas said there should be capital punishment for corruption so that it can be reduced.
Alhaji Ibrahim Okesina, Iman of the University of Uyo Muslim Community, in his remark also noted that corruption is every where, “our thoughts and actions are corrupt.” He called for a mechanism to help people fight corruption through punitive measures.