The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has called on students to actively participate in the crusade to rid Nigeria of corruption.
This call was made during the inauguration of Students Anti-Corruption Clubs (SACs) in 160 secondary schools in Ondo State with a view to spreading its anti-corruption war and to crave youths’ active participation in the anti-corruption crusade.
Speaking at the inauguration the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, urged the students to participate actively in the ongoing anti-corruption crusade for the betterment of their future; as they represent the backbone for national development.
In his words, “corruption kills the dream of the youths and prevents them from becoming what they aspire to be in the future.”
He added that the best way to kill corruption was to prevent it. ‘’One surest way of preventing corruption in any society is by building institutional capacity and reinvigorating positive values. The youths anywhere in the world represent the backbone of national development. They possess the energy, the talent, and valor, which if properly galvanized and channeled, could lead to positive national transformation, growth and development. Therefore, any nation that undermines its youth population or engages youths in nothing but political thuggery does so at its own peril’’, he said.
The Chairman who was represented at the event by the Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Ondo State Office, Mr. Kupolati Kayode, stated that the overall objective of forming anti-corruption clubs among Secondary School students is to inculcate positive values in the students at their formative age (catch them young).
He added that It is expected that as they grow up and assume positions of responsibility, zero tolerance for corruption and other social vices would have been imbibed in them.
He appealed to all key stakeholders, especially institutions of learning and regulatory Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to support ICPC in the establishment of more anti-corruption clubs for orientation and reorientation of youths.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Hon. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ondo State, Hon. Olufemi Agagu (FNVIS), acknowledged that corruption in Nigeria has undermined our democratic institutions, retarded economic development and has contributed to government inability to properly deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizens.
The Commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. S.A Adegoke, maintained that the formation of the club will enable ethical reorientation of students, expose them to the existing integrity and anti-corruption statues and provide them with the skills required to drive integrity regime in their various schools, stressing that it is a step in the right direction.
Delivering a paper titled “Inculcating Positive Values in the Youths, Using Anti-Corruption Club: The ICPC Perspective” the Director of Public Education and Enlightenment, Mr. Mohammed Ashiru Baba, fsi underscored the importance of Anti-Corruption Clubs and the roles they were expected to play as executives and members of the club.
Ashiru Baba, who was represented at the occasion by Mr. Suleiman Achile, stressed the need to impact on young people the values of honesty, discipline, transparency, accountability and integrity at the early stage of their lives.
In her closing remarks, the Director of Guidance & Counselling and Continuous Assessment Department, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ondo State, Mrs. Ademuyiwa Francis Olufunke appreciated the Commission for the inauguration and pledged that robust plans would be made to make sure that the inaugurated clubs are sustained.
The inauguration featured a short drama presentation titled ‘Enemy Within’ by Fiwasaye Grammar School, Akure.
The event was attended by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mrs. M.O Odidiomo, Chairman of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Ondo State Chapter, Dr. Abiodun Imokehinde, Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), Comrade Odeh Kehinde, and other dignitaries.