The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Rivers State joined other well meaning organizations in commemorating Sunday Dec 9, 2012 as the International Anti-Corruption Day. A statement by Comrade Chika Onuegbu,chairman TUC Rivers state said |”We recall that the 9th day of December every year was designated by the UN as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and the sense of urgency required to combat and prevent it. Also, to draw attention to the problems of corruption, motivate countries that have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption to continue their work to prevent and eradicate corruption, and press countries who have not adopted the convention to do so. The theme for this year’s commemoration which is ‘Act against Corruption Today’ is apt and succinct. In deed corruption requires collective action by all.”
He added that, “The dangers of corruption cannot be over emphasized. For instance, Corruption undermines democratic institutions, denies the citizens benefits of economic growth, feeds insecurity and terrorism and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption also attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption. Corruption is a major cause of poverty, insecurity and unemployment. It is a monster that knows no colour, creed or religion.
TUC Rivers State added that “This year’s theme calls each of us to stand up for the future we want and act against corruption. We must be stand up against corruption in all its ramifications. We cannot continue to behave as though we are at the mercy of corruption and that it is just a “way of life”. The truth is that each of us whether as youth, student, graduate, union member etc and irrespective of our religious beliefs and ethnic inclination has a lot to benefit from saying “NO” to this crime of corruption. This we can do by (a) calling on the federal government to sincerely prosecute all those who have been implicated in the various probes at the national assembly especially the fuel subsidy probes(b)by reporting incidences of corruption around us (c) by refusing to participate in any activities that are not moral and transparent (d) By refusing to pay or accept bribes, facilitation fees etc(e) by telling elected officials that fighting corruption MUST be an integral part of all government policies (f) by actively shaming all those who have corruptly enriched themselves etc
“For us in TUC Rivers State we will continue to stand up against corruption because it is our considered view that until Nigeria wins the war against corruption ,the country will not make progress in its fight against poverty, insecurity and unemployment. Accordingly we will continue to mobilize our collective voice and bargaining power against corruption. We will continue to partner with other well meaning organisations that are genuinely concerned about eliminating corruption in Nigeria”,Onuegbu said.