ICPC Advocates Positive Behavioral Change as the Roadmap to Ensuring a Corruption-Free Society

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has admonished traditional rulers, religious leaders, community-based organizations, youths and other major stakeholders to promote and integrate positive behavioural change and sound ethical values in their immediate community and daily activities.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR made this call recently in Akure, Ondo State Capital, during a sensitization workshop organized for stakeholders, themed: “Bringing about Positive Behavioural Change in the Society using the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP)”.

The Chairman who was represented by the Provost, Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), Prof. Olatunde Babawale, stated that the law-and-order approach to the fight against corruption (Enforcement) alone is not enough to get rid of the menace from the society. He reiterated that with the present realities facing the nation, if we do not change our behaviours, we may not be able to bring about the changes that we desire in our society.

“The ideal behaviour for citizens is that they should respect the laws of the land, keep their words, do their duty with diligence, respect and value other human beings, and not get involved in stealing from the government, cheating others or any form of deception. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people are far from the ideal. Therefore, there is need to make intentional efforts to turn around negative behaviours to positive ones through the inculcation of positive values.”

He further stated that the Commission conducted the one-day training programme to help stakeholders implement the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) with a view to stimulating desirable behaviour change, stressing that the training project has the long-term goal of helping stakeholders to translate the values prescribed by the NEIP into anti-corruption behaviour.

In a paper presentation titled: “Overview of ICPC Initiatives – NVC, NEIP, EICS, CEPTI, IFFs and the Fight against Corruption” the Head, Public Enlightenment and Education Unit, ICPC Ondo State Office, Mr. Suleiman Achile enjoined the participants to shun all forms of corruption wherever they find themselves. He stated that the first step to corruption fighting is to personally decide to be a person of Integrity and a community advocate for Integrity.

Earlier, in a welcome address, the Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner, ICPC Ondo State Office, Mr. Kupolati Kayode stated that the workshop was conceived as an outreach platform to practically engage the major stakeholders in the fight against corruption using behavioural change methods and maintained that it is only through concerted efforts of all concerned that Nigeria can overcome the scourge of corruption.

Goodwill messages were delivered by some dignitaries including His Royal Majesty, the Alara of Ilara-Mokin, Oba Abiodun Aderemi Adefehinti, who stated that the citizens need positive behavioural change for the country to progress.

The Chief Imam of Ondo State Government House Mosque, Imam Yunus Anola on his part, urged all stakeholders to collaborate with ICPC in the fight against corruption through spreading positive values across the country. He promised to spread the ICPC message in their various mosques at every given opportunity.

Highlight of the workshop was a breakout session, where the participants were divided into syndicates and were tasked to identify the possible challenges they could encounter while attempting to implement the NEIP, and to recommend solutions and way forward.

Participants at the one-day workshop include civil society organizations (CSOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), community-based associations (CBAs), traditional rulers, media correspondents, youth groups, professional bodies, executives of MDAs and delegates from selected private sectors.