THOMAS Jefferson, a former president of the United States of America said: “If I were to choose between a government without newspapers and a newspaper without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.” According to a World Bank abstract on the media’s role in curbing corruption, “the role of media is critical in promoting good governance and controlling corruption.”
It not only raises public awareness about corruption, its causes and possible remedies but also investigates and reports incidences of corruption. The role of the media in any society cannot be overemphasized since the media can perform the responsibility of promoting good governance and controlling corruption, it can also identify those involved in corruption and corrupt practices.
Corruption is a menace every country in the world is facing and has to confront. In Nigeria for instance, the devastating effect of corruption on the Nigerian economy is seen virtually everywhere. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of Nigerian society to the extent that the ordinary citizen lacks the basic necessity of life. From health to education, from security to economy, from agriculture to the transportation of the farm produce to markets for sale.
To safeguard this country from the fangs of corruption, there is a need to really collaborate with anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Since it is one of the agencies in the country saddled with the responsibilities of fighting corruption, the EFCC cannot singlehandedly fight this heinous crime, and that is not to say that, it does not have the capacity or ability, but because the fight is not for EFCC alone. The fight against corruption is for all of us, both the anti-corruption agencies, media and society at large.
There is a need for the media to perform its primary role of informing, educating and enlightening the Nigerian people on the dangers of corruption, just as it does in the areas of security, education, health. Sensitization and information sharing about corruption and what it entails is another key role the media should play in the fight against corruption.
There is the need to expose those involved in corruption and corrupt practices. This will help the Nigerian populace to be informed and have a better understanding of the effects it has on their lives. Some ordinary Nigerian citizens got themselves involved in corruption and corrupt practices without even knowing that they are culpable.
- Abbas Abubakar, Abuja