In other to uplift our value system and fight corruption, we must adopt a proactive weapon of orientation of the average Nigerian from a culture of greed, avarice and get-rich quick, to one of integrity, honesty, modesty etc which limits a Nigerian’s desire to own only what he has earned. To this end, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) in collaboration with National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Thursday 20th December 2018, held a one-day seminar on Public Education and Citizen Enlightenment Programme with the theme: “Value-Re-Orientation and the Fight Against Corruption” at the Conference hall of Ibis Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos State.
Speaking on the topic, “The Struggle for Nigerian Moral Re-Armament Begins Now”, The Chairman of PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay quoting from President Buhari’s remarks, noted that “… it is now widely acknowledged that corruption undermines economic development, political stability, the rule of law, social development, disrupts social order and destroys public trust in the governance system. In Nigeria, it is startling to note that the link between corruption, organized crime, terrorism and insecurity is one of the reasons why we have remained underdeveloped despite the enormous natural resources with which Nigeria is endowed.”
Prof. Sagay observed that the task is daunting, hence the creation of Nigerian Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) which seeks to identify and close existing gaps in the anti-corruption initiatives currently in place. Other proactive measures according to him includes moral rebirth and re-orientation, stimulation of public interest through appropriate policies and incentives to reduce cynicism and encourage belief in a value system of honesty and integrity. He tasked National Orientation Agency (NOA) on the primary responsibility of instituting moral re-orientation or re-armament into the citizens so that the original values of integrity, honesty work ethics, service, sacrifice for the nation and all others can be restored.
On his part in a goodwill message, the Director, NOA Lagos Directorate, Mr. Waheed Ishola noted that the get-rich syndrome has overwhelmed Nigeria. The young ones are now the most desperate of this vice. The former advance fee fraud syndrome has now metamorphosed into yahoo plus, which involves the killing of human beings and using their body parts for money rituals all because of misplaced priorities. He took time to explain the seven core values as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. These are: Patriotism, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Discipline, Religious Tolerance, Social Justice and Self-reliance which cut across all ethnic, religious and professional divides, hence he urged participants to key into values for a better society. As the only Agency of the Federal Government in the 774 Local government speaking the local language of the people, the agency has been up and doing, all needed is little work tools to compliment the efforts.
In their papers, Prof. Yomi Akinyeye from University of Lagos and Prof. Sadiq Isah Radda, from Bayero University, Kano both agreed that corruption is more or less the engine of government. A life threatening syndrome that has kept the country under-developed. They took time to explain corruption, its causes, impact to the society and likely suggestions to solving the problems.
In attendance were cross section of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); Community Development Council (CDC); Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC); Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Muslim Body; Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ); National Council of Women Society (NCWS); National Youth Council (NYC), African Youth for Development; JDPC; Igbo Community, amongst others.