By Angela Atabo
Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) with other anti-corruption stakeholders have called on Nigerians to collaborate towards curbing corruption in the country.
The stakeholders made the call at an anti-corruption engagement with labour and trade unions in Benin, Edo, to position the unions as active drivers of anticorruption in Nigeria organised by `Say No Campaign’ with support from Mac Arthur Foundation.
The Executive Director PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu in a statement at the end of the engagement, said that collaborative effort by all stakeholders in the fight against corruption would reduce the incidences of corruption within the country.
Ezenwa, who is also the convener, `Say No Campaign Project’, urged union members to employ new approaches in engaging government agencies and budget monitoring.
He said that the call became imperative because people should not continue to do things the same way every time and expect different results.
He pointed out that perpetrators of corrupt practices were now dynamic in carrying out their nefarious activities and advised participants not to professionalise the labour and trade unions, where members were hailed for being comrades without making impact.
“We must shift from the usual practice and equip ourselves with the needed information and documents, to adopt other means of monitoring our budget and its implementation at all levels of government.
“In addressing corruption challenges and to hold public office holders accountable, there is need for a new thinking because ignorance on the side of citizens has worsened and is encouraging the spread of corruption in the system,’’ he said.
Mr Eze Nwafor, who represented the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Edo Command, urged stakeholders to maintain a high standard of ethical and moral conduct in their engagement with government agencies.
“I have always maintained that for a successful fight against corruption, the stakeholders must not only own the fight but also have sound ethical and moral conducts blended with accountability and transparency in all their dealings with the public,” he said.
The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, represented by Williams Oseghale, the Head, Public Affairs Department, Benin Zonal Office, advised stakeholders to key into the gains of the dialogue.
He said this was because a better Nigeria would be enjoyed by everyone.
In his remarks, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman in Edo, Sunday Osanyande, expressed the willingness to partner with the Say No Campaign project to drive accountability within the state.
Highlights of the events were the birthing of a network of labour and trade unions against corruption with participants from the three Senatorial Districts of the state.
They expressed the willingness to use their influence to push for accountability in Edo through budget monitoring and tracking of abandoned projects.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Say No Campaign-Nigeria, with support from Mac Arthur Foundation held similar anticorruption engagements with Labour and Trade Unions across different geopolitical zones in the country.
This was in a bid to have citizens who are willing to push for positive change across the federation. (NAN)