2023: ANEEJ Urges Nigerians to Move Away From Cultures, Norms That Promote Corruption
By: Femi Mustapha
As the 2023 general elections draw closer, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has urged Nigerians to move away from the culture and norms that promote corruption and create an incentive for those who are not willing to buy votes, induce voters and rig elections.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor asserted this during a two-day workshop for CSOs and journalists on “Enhancing the advocacy skills on anti-corruption and social inclusive reform issues in Nigeria.”
In view of this, he said, “ANEEJ cluster are currently advocating for the mainstreaming of anti-corruption issues into the country’s upcoming 2023 general election discourse.”
He explained that votes buying and selling are corrupt activities that should be discouraged.
Speaking on the training, he said, “ANEEJ-SCALE project tagged Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria project is a 5-year implemented by Palladium and its resource partners with funds from USAID.”
According to him, the project is an important one that seeks to promote and engage in anti-corruption policy reforms at both the national and sub-national levels with an ultimate goal of strengthening governance to deliver development goals to citizens, particularly in addressing poverty and inequality amongst the people.
The ANEEJ Executive Director stressed that aside the anti-corruption component, the project is also designed to address reforms as well as issues of transparency and accountability in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and six oil and gas producing states – Abia, Delta, Edo, Imo, Rivers and Ondo.
On strategy to be adopted, Rev. Ugolor disclosed that during the course of implementing the project, interventions will include: advocacy for passage/adoption of pending Anti-Corruption Bills, the National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS II) and the NDDC Act Amendment Bill currently before the national assembly.
“After the workshop, we want to see change agents from among us here, who, with the right knowledge, having been trained can use the acquired knowledge to hold government accountable, advocate and push for reforms and the passage of other relevant pending anti-corruption bills.
“This is particularly important because the project is hinged on the premix that when CSOs and journalists are trained anti-corruption and social inclusive reform issues, and they have the right knowledge and skills to engage government collaboratively based on existing data, they will be able to carry out evidence-based advocacy for reforms.
“Then, they can also influence the development of policies, passage of laws on anti-corruption and social inclusive reform issues.”
In his remark, the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Olufunmileyi Owasanoye said Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions, which cost is huge, hence requiring a resilient war.
Represented by Mrs. Anike Adeshina, he added that ICPC is mindful of the need to continually strengthen its existing synergy with ANEEJ and other Civil Society Organizations with such related missions.