The member, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Etannibi Alemika, has said that the fight against corruption in Nigeria should not be seen as the sole responsibility of the Federal Government, but as a collective one.
Alemika, gave the advice in his opening remarks, as the Chairman at the Public Education and Citizen Enlightenment programme, on Thursday, in Asaba.
The programme was organised by PACAC, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency, (NOA) and supported by the Centre for Democracy and Development and MacArthur Foundation.
He said that the theme of the programme, “Value Re-Orientation and the Fight Against Corruption” was apt, adding that, Nigerians needed a value re-orientation, to collectively address the challenge.
He noted that the values and cultural belief in hard work and reward for honesty, was gradually eroding in the system, due to nepotism, greed, poverty, and selfishness among the political class and the generality of the citizenry.
According to Alemika, mass poverty, unemployment, insecurity, and inequality among others in Nigeria, to a large extent are products of corruption in the system.
“Nepotism is corruption, it is corruption to put an infrastructure where it is not needed and corruption is the father of inequality, ethnic and religious crisis; for those hoping to join the corrupt people, it is not the right way to go.
“If we make the right decision today, Nigeria will and can work again, our resources have been kidnapped long ago though corruption, so it is in the interest of all of us to stop corruption because we are all suffering the cost of corruption.
“PACAC in partnership with NOA realising that corruption is everywhere in our country and of cause to address it, we need to have the cooperation at all levels.
“Hitherto, people have always seen corruption or anti-corruption measures, as a Federal Government affair but all of us have suffered the consequences of corruption in communities and not in federal levels.
“We are here to talk to your future now, not to focus on the law enforcement angle, but on the value aspect.
“This is because behaviour is a product of value, you act your value and you act your norms, if you can address the values that support corruption in Nigeria, then the problem is solved, “he said.
Also, in his remark, the Acting State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Chris Anyabuine, while appreciating PACAC and other supporting partners for the programme, assured them of the agency’s commitment to the fight against corruption in the state.
According to him, the theme is apt, NOA will continue in its mandate of value re-orientation to end corruption in the state.
“NOA, in line with its core mandate, creates awareness about government policy programmes and activities, it also positively influences change attitudes, values and behaviours of people, toward the social economic development of the nation”.
In a goodwill message, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of the State, represented by Mr. Eugene Uzum, Director- General, State Orientation Bureau, urged the Federal Government to make anti-corruption, a subject in all levels of education, to rebuild the mind-sets of the youths from the foundation.
Resource persons, Dr. Uju Agomah and Mr. Ken Henshaw, delivered papers on the theme, “Value Re-orientation and the Fight Against Corruption” and “The Role of Citizens in Fight Against Corruption” respectively.
They however, charged Nigerians to begin the change they wish, adding that the fight against corruption begins with each person.
“The solution to corruption is in your hands; the little light of mine will make it shine”