In a bid to boost the participation of youths in the crusade against corruption, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), recently inaugurated Student’s Anti – Corruption Vanguards (SAVs) for six tertiary institutions in Sokoto and Kebbi States.
The inauguration of the SAVs took place at a forum organized in Sokoto recently to ensure active participation of the youth in the fight against corruption.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, represented by the Head of Youths Education and Mobilization, Mr. Kingsley C. Obi, said that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of our society, including the education sector, where vices like examination malpractices, sexual harassments, marks-for-money and others were rife.
According to him, “….the greatest challenge to our nation and indeed the strong cog in the wheel of our nation’s socio-economic development is corruption”, adding that ICPC alone could not rid the nation of corruption, hence the need for SAVs in tertiary institutions.
The ICPC boss explained that SAVs operate as agents of corruption- prevention in their respective institutions.
He said “waging a successful war against corruption requires not just our actions as a law enforcement agency, but the resolute effort of all stakeholders including students”.
Nta stressed that members of the SAVs were therefore expected to complement the efforts of ICPC by educating fellow students on the ills of corruption; actively participating in social auditing and whistle-blowing as well as mobilizing fellow students to stand against corruption at all times.
He maintained that the challenges of ensuring that transparency and integrity become a culture in Nigeria can be achieved through the cultivation of principled men and women whose footprints of uprightness would be indelible over time.
According to him, “the youth that is imbued with a reformist mission will see himself as a whistle-blower against vices and corruption. As we launch a collective onslaught on corruption, we must bear in mind that corruption lingers on and becomes such a huge and lucrative industry in Nigeria because it has taken many years to condition our minds to it, imbibe, nurture, sustain and even defend it as a virtue as long as it helps us to achieve our selfish ends”.
“Corruption has debased the worth and integrity of Nigerians and our educational sector both at home and abroad, we must therefore do everything we can to tackle it”, he concluded.
In his remarks, the Head of ICPC, Sokoto State, Mr. Bulus Jimmy, represented by the Chief Legal Officer, Wada Ahmad Muhammad, urged members of the anti-corruption vanguards to be role-models because membership of the vanguard was based on dedication, integrity and good conduct exhibited by them in their respective institutions. He also challenged them to be above board in discharging their assigned responsibilities.
The institutions that participated in the programme included: Sokoto State University; Shehu Shagari College of Education; Umaru Ali Shinkafi Polytechnic, Sokoto; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero; Umaru Waziri Federal Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi; and Adamu Augie College of Education.