The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has charged winners of the Anti-Corruption Star Award to continue to do good, while recruiting others in the fight against corruption.
The charge was given by the Spokesperson of ICPC, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, at the 2022 Anti-Corruption Star Awards organized by Step up for Social Development and Empowerment in Nigeria (Step Up Nigeria) which held recently physically and virtually.
In her congratulatory message, Mrs. Ogugua commended the winners, especially the students, for a job well done by fighting corruption in their own capacity. She encouraged them to continue to model integrity while ensuring they recruit others to join the campaign against the scourge.
She said, “You were seen and recognized. Know that someone is always watching. You may not always be recognized like this but someone sees you. God sees you. People see you. Whether commendations come or not, keep doing the good work you are doing.”
Mrs. Ogugua concluded by reminding the winners to report those that are corrupt, not from a sense of self-righteousness but from a sense of responsibility. She warned that if they were not reported, they would keep corrupting others.
Welcoming participants to the event, the Executive Director, Step Up Nigeria, Onyi Ough discussed the organization’s method of sensitizing the society on effects of corruption and the need to avoid it through education and behavioral change approaches.
She explained that the education approach uses storytelling and creative tools as well as working with schools, parents and policy makers adding that a survey on the effects of the past awards on people resulted in positive feedback, as they claimed to be inspired to fight corruption after reading stories of the award winners.
Earlier at the event, the Chair, Transparency International Global, Delia Ferreira Rubio, recognized the hard work the winners put into building the communities for a better future. She also congratulated them saying that the stories of primary and secondary students moving to stop wrong activities were wonderful.
The Country Director of MacArthur Foundation Dr. Kole Shettima, who delivered a goodwill message commended the organizers for the work they put in to bring about behaviour change among the youths.
Also in his congratulatory message, the Executive Director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan, Mr. Vaqar Ahmed, disclosed that he was inspired by the efforts of the young stars that have set an example of creativity and accountability. He stated that it is our responsibility to help them nurture these efforts to a higher level while putting the right kinds of checks and balances to support them.
The award winners included primary and secondary school students, parents, teachers, school owners, out-of-school youths and others in various award categories – Junior Young Anti-Corruption Star, Senior Young Anti-Corruption Star, Out-of-School Anti-Corruption Star, Teacher Anti-Corruption Star, Parent Anti-Corruption Star, Special Recognition Award, Special Dedication Award, Community Anti-Corruption Star, and First-time Voter Anti-Corruption Star.
The award is designed to reward anti-corruption champions across different age groups, to promote anti-corruption values such as integrity, transparency, and accountability. The celebration also served as a form of incentive to those already challenging corrupt practices, as well as an inspiration to others to confront the negative social and cultural behaviors that allow corruption to persist.