Groups urge public servants, citizens to shun corruption
The Federal Government has been urged to encourage public servants that display integrity across sectors of the public sector.
The Country Director of Accountability Lab, Odeh Friday Odeh, who made this call at the 2021 edition of Integrity Icon organised by Accountability Lab Nigeria in Abuja, noted that lack of accountability in the Nigerian public service has broken the trust of citizens and increased the inefficiency in the system, saying, “from the security sector to education, health, and the justice system, we see a system that is inefficient.”
He disclosed that Accountability Lab Nigeria has been organising the integrity icon award in the last four years to celebrate public servants who display integrity in their work and make outstanding contributions to society.
He said: “We are now living in a society where the freedom and rights of citizens are in constant contention, the voices of citizens are being muzzled and the civic space is gradually shrinking.”
He described the Twitter ban, the Lekki Tollgate shooting, #EndSARS protests as symptoms of lack of accountability in the public service.
In her remarks, the Founder and Executive Director, Accountability Lab, Blair Glencorse, said: “It was an important campaign and the celebration was a very important way of showing the kinds of people we should appreciate in public service. The kind of heroes we should be celebrating and the kinds of values and narratives that we want to build everywhere around the world, not just in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the General Overseer of the Palace of Priests Assembly (PPA), Dr Otive Igbuzor, has called on religious leaders and stakeholders in the government sector to raise advocacy and implementation of the fight against corruption in the country.
He made the call during the Mobilising Christians Against Corruption (MOCAC 2.0) Mentors and Mentes workshop, organised by PPA for Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and civil society organisations (CSOs) across the country.
Igbuzor said: “As we all know that corruption is a huge problem in Nigeria, and it is affecting all facets of life with a negative effect on society. Over the years, governments, organisations and individuals have embarked on various activities to fight corruption.”
“In the past, Christians in Nigeria, especially Pentecostals didn’t participate or engage in the fight against corruption in the country. This was what led to the conception of the ‘Shun Corruption’ project to mobilise Christians especially Pentecostals, to join the fight against corruption in Nigeria with the support of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.”
In his remarks, the Founder of the Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle, explained that corruption is a mindset, which everyone needs to change.
“We need a total orientation to build a new kind of mindset to fight corruption. Corruption has become an embedded issue in Nigeria. We will be making a mistake that we can get rid of corruption without requiring strategic endeavour from everybody.
“The fight requires individuals to examine their values, and be bold to say, ‘I am not going to accept a corrupt process because of their character and integrity within the government’.”
The problem I have with this government and its corruption policy is that no corrupt individual in the government has been punished”, he said.