Citizens must key into anti-corruption crusade —PAACA

.Says govt efforts alone can’t produce desired result

The Executive Director, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA), Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, has warned that government’s effort was not enough to get the desired result in the fight against corruption in the country.

He also stated that due to the human cost of corruption, it is in the interest of Nigerians to ensure that the fight against corruption succeeds.

To this end, the PAACA Executive Director emphasized that citizens must sincerely key into the fight, take ownership and raise the tempo to achieve the desired result in the fight against corruption.

Comrade Ezenwa gave this position while forwarding a compilation of speeches in a book produced and supported by ActionAid, UKaid, UpRight Nigeria Stand Against Corruption and PAACA. The book was titled: ‘Fighting Corruption Beyond The Norm: Perspectives from Religious and Traditional Institutions.’

The labour leader and human rights activist said: “Due to the human cost of corruption, it is in the interest of the average Nigerians that the fight against corruption succeeds. To achieve this, every effort towards eradicating the menace must be deliberate and sustained and until citizens sincerely key into the fight, taking ownership, and raising the tempo in active demand for accountability and justice that we can achieve the result we all yearn for.”

However, he lamented that Nigerians’ penchant for tolerating corruption and justifying it has become a real threat to their participation and ownership of the fight.

He said: “Poverty has become an excuse for retail and artisan corruption as moral values are being relegated to the background; honesty and integrity no longer have a place in our communal existence, businesses and lives.

“Ignoring our contribution to the simulcasts of the fight would result in a missed opportunity to reclaim the future of our dear country. Government’s efforts are not enough as it takes citizen’s resolve to institutionalize the anti-corruption fight to make it successful.”

Comrade Ezenwa stressed the need for value reorientation to secure the buy-in of citizens and identify the message of anti-corruption in every quarter, adding that “the moral institutions, as the custodian of the society’s morality and influencer of the people’s behaviours, are very critical in achieving this.”

He pointed out that the religious and traditional institutions in Nigeria have identified their place in the anti-corruption campaign.

He, however, added: “admitting that the religious and traditional institutions have a critical role in influencing value reorientation of citizens to build resistance to corruption in Nigeria, was the first positive step toward assuming their responsibility. Corruption has become so prevalent because of the general tolerance resulting from the breakdown of values in our society.”

He lamented that various acts of fraud have been normalized in our everyday life to the extent that living a life of honesty and moral uprightness is loathed and considered a sign of weakness and, ironically, poverty.


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