Buhari spells out ‘ABC’ of fighting corruption at Youth Congress

President Muhammadu Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has spelt out what he says is the “ABC of fighting corruption which he recommends to young people in Africa to tackle the menace in their countries.

Speaking at the launch of the African Youth Congress Against Corruption (AYCAC 2018) at the conference centre of the presidential villa, Abuja on Sunday, he said: “ ‘A’ stands for Action. Let us all move from talk to action. I urge you to develop tangible projects in your community to instil transparency and accountability of the highest standard. I look forward to receiving your Creed of Transparency from this Congress with a view to forwarding the recommendations to the next Summit of the African Union in February next year.

‘B’ stands for Building Bridges. The youth have a unique opportunity to spearhead the building of inter-generational and cross-sectoral bridges in our various communities. Often, fighting corruption requires partnerships with unlikely allies. Be open to exploring constructive partnerships with a wide base of actors. Again, I look forward to all of you joining the Transparency Champions Network that was created following the Regional Youth Consultations.

‘C’ stands for Culture. So, let us cultivate and equip ourselves with African culture, the right attitude and mindset change that will enable us to stand firmly against corruption. By so doing, accountability and change will begin with you and me.”

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The president told the young people to own the fight against corruption, adding:  “To the young people of Africa, this fight against corruption is yours to lead and to win in order to reverse the negative trends of corruption and it’s implications for Africa.

“The Youth of Africa must pool their energies to effectively ensure that our natural and mineral resources remain on the continent for value addition, job and wealth creation as well as to create affordable health-care and quality education for our people. Winning the fight against corruption is very much in your hands!

“Of particular interest to the youth, as reflected in the Nouakchott Declaration, is the emphasis on the imperative of investing in the demographic dividends through anti-corruption, education and sensitisation campaigns, targeting young people as a means of bringing about behavioural change.

“I hereby encourage young Africans, to use this Declaration as motivation to achieve greater resource investment in developing anti-corruption curricula and anti-graft campaigns in schools, businesses and the general public space.

“African Youth must remain the front and centre of restoring traditional African values of probity, integrity, honesty, diligence and hard work. It is only when the youth drive this change, that corruption will be eliminated!”

While recognising a few African youths who had brought innovation to the fight against corruption in their countries, Buhari noted that the Congress was, therefore, a grand rallying point to catalyse policy and practical action against the vice of corruption.

“We must listen to the perspectives of the African Youth and engage in frank and honest conversations. Communication upwards and sideways can only be ignored at a price,” he said.

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (INEC), Ibrahim Magu, in his remark on behalf

of anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria, asserted that the level of corruption in Nigeria and Africa is high.

He said it undermines the social and economic progress of the continent, noting that Buhari had continued to display an unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption.

While expressing confidence that after the Congress the youth will enter into a strong partnership with anti corruption agencies, he said: “We must come together to secure our nation and the African continent so that we can secure the future of our teeming youth.”

Also speaking, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, advised the youths to see the fight against corruption as an obligation and a task that must be achieved, noting that corruption is an injustice to the state, youth, children, women, aged, Africa and Africans.