Sporadic Mailer, the pen name for an activist, moves us to the issue of corruption. Olanrewaju Suraj releases a recent communique to address the problem in Nigeria
WHO WOULD SAVE OUR MOTHERLAND NIGERIA?
May 29, 1999 President Obasanjo spoke about the sacred cow and how he
would not be spared. He that "... there shall be no
sacred cows." This is after he had announced an acceptance speech of
hope after the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in the Eagle's
Today, there are no sacred cows but "ordained cows" and they flourish
right within and without the premises of Asokoro Rock. They all move
around in pot bellies and squander whatever gains the "economic
think-tanks" the President imported during the Fifth Republic might
have made so far. The case is such a disgusting one that one might
just be afraid to write further on the pathetic cases of corruption
in Nigeria. In fact, "Corruption" is a Nigerian, I stand to be
I just want to suggest a way out .. every Nigerian, especially those of us with internet presence, should start to criticize these corrupt practices online and send it to yahoo
groups and personal email addresses of these "thieves", perhaps, one
of these days they may decide to change their old ways!
FIRST CONSULTATIVE FORUM ON STRATEGIES FOR COMBATING CORRUPTION AND SAFEGUARDING INTEGRITY IN NIGERIA.
ORGANISED BY HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (HEDA) IN PARTNERSHIP WITH INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL STUDIES (ISS), THE NETHERLANDS AND FREEDOM HOUSE, NIGERIA
AT TEMPERANCE GUESTHOUSE OTTA, OGUN STATE,
15TH NOVEMBER 2004
The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) in partnership with the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands and FreedomHouse, Nigeria organised the first Consultative Forum on Strategies for Combating Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity in Nigeria 15th November 2004.
The forum, was attended by sixty participants including the Honourable Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Titi Oseni and her Deputy, Hon Honourable Tokunbo Oshin; Chairman Onigbongbo Local Government Council Hon. Idowu Obasa; Engr. Emeka Eze, Due Process (Presidency); Prof. Mohammed Salih of the Institute of social Studies, the Netherlands; notable academics; select alumni of Institute of Social Studies across West Africa; civil society activists and the press.
The Participants while:
· Noting that corruption is present in almost every country, it has more devastating effects in developing Countries because it hinders advancement in economic growth, development and democracy;
· Recognizing the role of the civil society in dealing with corruption having dramatically increased effective developmental projects aimed at promoting greater monitoring, transparency and accountability;
· Realizing that corruption wastes resources by distorting government policies at the detriment of majority interests, moving away from its proper goals;
· Affirming that corruption hampers competition, frustrates efforts to alleviate poverty, destroys well intentioned development projects and undermines political and economic development in Nigeria;
· Affirming that the process of budgeting has always been overwhelmed by corruption and the lack of political will on the part of the governments at all levels.
Identified the following priority areas for all stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The Federal and States Government
1 Should have the political will to support legislative or administrative changes effective enough to contain corruption.
2 The tax system must be overhauled.
3 ICPC and other related agencies should be given free hand to work and should be fair in prosecuting people charged with corruption.
4 Those occupying political and public offices must display selfless leadership.
The National Assembly
1 Nigerians must have access to information to be able to engage the government on corruption issues.
2 Parliamentarians at the National, State and Local levels must display high sense of leadership propelled by integrity, honesty, sincerity and fear of God.
The Civil Society/NGOs
1 We must bring the matter to the public domain. People must be able to monitor, bid for contracts awarded. People should know how much is involved in the contracts. The community must be involved in budget planning, implementation and monitoring. We must open up the Civil Service.
2 Civil Society should be strengthened to enable it become more pro-active in research, campaigns or advocacy and so forth.
3 We should recognize that corruption is not limited to public offices and places. It is also endemic in the homes.
4 We must recognize that the home is the cannel of the society where the future of the fight against corruption should be most intense.
5 All such societal values like care, honesty, self-discipline, fear of God and tolerance should be reawakened.
6 Religious organisations should exercise stricter/moral control on its members, particularly public office holders.
7 Religious organisations should be responsive to find out the sources of fund of some of its controversial wealthy members.
1 The police, as an institution must also be reformed from corruption.
2. The police must show leadership by example to be able to fight corruption.
1 Press freedom deserves emphatic recognition in the nation’s constitution.
2 The media must therefore accord corruption issues good attention.
3 The Nigerian people and the media should celebrate various centres of excellence. People who are found not to be corrupt should be celebrated. Such people are worthy of celebration.
Olanrewaju Suraj John Oziegbe