Five tertiary institutions in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, including Bingham University, have joined the growing list of tertiary institutions in Nigeria that now have the Students Anti-Corruption Vanguard (SAV) set up by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to help fight corruption and re-orientate students in higher institutions of learning.
Four other institutions who got the vanguards include: FCT College of Education, Zuba; City College of Education, Karu; Al-Hikma Polytechnic, Karu; and Veritas University, Abuja.
Officials to man the affairs of the vanguards in each of the institutions, and who are also students, were sworn-in by ICPC in a grand ceremony which held at the Commission’s headquarters, Abuja, recently.
Speaking at the occasion, ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, who was represented by the Director, Education Department, Alhaji Ashiru Baba, charged the students to secure their future by living exemplary lives of honour and integrity, and by supporting the anti-corruption efforts of the Commission through SAV programmes in their various institutions.
Owasanoye said: “the youth are the champions of socio-economic prosperity of every nation; the struggle for Nigeria’s independence was championed by the youths. On this premise, ICPC expects you to be in the vanguard of inculcating and entrenching integrity in your various institutions. As members of SAV you are expected to actively support the activities of ICPC through advocacy, in addition to writing feature articles, poetry, etc., for publication in the Commission’s journal.”
Speaking further, he drew the attention of the youths to some acts of corruption which had landed some prominent individuals in trouble with the law, saying “I urge you all to shun exam malpractice, cultism, forgery of records, and other unwholesome practices. Remember the ‘sex for marks’ scandal involving a former lecturer of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Richard Akindele, and a post-graduate student called Monica? That is food for thought for you.”
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Mfon Udo of Education Department in a presentation titled: Corruption, a Dream Killer, argued that due to corruption some Nigerian youths today are called bad names such as lazy youths, yahoo boys etc. Youths kill their future; youths cannot be trusted with position of leadership; their indulgence in cultism brings sorrow to their families; high rate of out-of-school youths has led to proliferation of unskilled labour and many other corruption-induced social vices.
In a panel discussion segment of the event, each of the participating schools represented by a speaker, debated on which approach to fighting corruption was better – Enforcement or Prevention. At the end of the heated debate, the speakers found a common ground, and became unanimous in the view that prevention was better than enforcement, while however, considering Enforcement as a means of Prevention.
Barrister Jennifer Odeh of Corruption Monitoring Evaluation Department of ICPC, then administered the oath of office on over 50 new exco-members of the SAVs.
In his vote of thanks, Mr. Dutse Yusuf of Bingham University commended the efforts of ICPC in stemming the tide of corruption through its youth intervention programmes, he urged the Commission to extend the application of the National Values Curriculum (NVC) to tertiary institutions of learning.
NVC is a curriculum designed by ICPC in conjunction with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to infuse the core values of integrity in selected subjects in primary and secondary schools, but its application in tertiary institutions is still in the pipeline.