Corruption, lack of integrity and citizens’ apathy towards anti-corruption efforts have been identified as critical threats to the collective well-being of Nigerians and Nigeria in general.
This was the view expressed by the State Commissioner, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Imo State, Mr. Osi Mak-Nathaneal, in Onuimo Local Government Council during the “Anti-Corruption Sensitization Tour of LGAs” in the state.
The sensitization tour which is part of the Commission’s initiatives aimed at encouraging greater community participation in the anti-corruption effort of the government has amongst others, the objectives of reviving local norms that would discourage communities from celebrating wealth over honesty and integrity while encouraging collective advocacy on issues of anti-corruption, budget process and project implementation.
Mr. Mak-Nathaneal explained that it was in recognition of these factors that the Commission designed and deployed several anti-corruption programmes such as National Anti-Corruption Coalition, National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps, Local Government Integrity Initiative, Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units and Anti-Corruption Clubs in secondary schools amongst others to enlist the participation of the citizenry in eradicating corruption.
The State Commissioner therefore urged the local communities to join in the anti-graft war saying that “the eradication of corruption is a collective responsibility.”
He also encouraged the local residents not to abdicate their moral and spiritual obligations to the country and to always demand accountability from the community leaders.
Also speaking during the tour, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua of Education Department, called on the community leaders especially the administrators of the local government council to ensure the prudent management of their scarce resources at all times for the benefit and the well-being of the people.
Mrs. Ogugua cautioned them not to engage in infractions of the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the local government administration, warning that anyone found compromising procedures would receive the requisite sanctions.
She also pointed out that peer pressure, opportunity and rationalization were factors why people engage in corrupt activities.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Acting Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mrs. Nma Ogu Chienti, lauded ICPC’s effort at taking the anti-corruption campaign to the grassroots and encouraged the gathering to make the best of the opportunity granted them by the Commission.
Some of the participants at the tour who spoke expressed their readiness to back the Commission’s anti-corruption campaign, disclosing that before the tour they never knew ICPC had a lot of programmes and initiatives aimed at enlisting and fostering citizens’ support in combating corruption.