By Chimezie Godfrey
The Accountability Lab, Nigeria (AL) has urged Nigerians to embrace integrity, accountability, and transparency in order to promote democratic development in the country.
It’s Country Director, Friday Odeh, stated this on Friday in Abuja while addressing participants at an event tagged: “Meet the Icon”, organized in collaboration with the Swedish Embassy.
He pointed out that in the face of endemic corruption, especially in the Nigerian public service, there is need for citizens to stand up for integrity against all odds.
“We need people to stand up and take action. We just need people to stand up and do the right thing. We know the society we’re in and for you to stand for integrity it takes a lot and you need to be brave.
“The work we do is always in partnership and collaboration with government agencies, civil society organizations, and citizens because national development requires all stakeholders to commit to building a nation we are all proud to live in,” he said.
The Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Carl-Michael Grans, in his opening remarks, said that integrity icons were crucial for a successful government in any country.
“What you do as an Integrity Icon is really crucial for a successful government in any country. Spreading democracy is a top priority for the Swedish government; promoting accountability, transparency and fighting corruption is really key for democratic development.”
He urged Nigerian media not to relent in holding the government accountable, adding that the media have a central role to play in the push for democracy in the country.
According to Sam Emenogu, the Programme Officer of Accountability Lab Nigeria, the event presents an opportunity for Nigerians to know that there were still persons of integrity in the Nigerian civil service.
He said that the campaign also seeks to drive conversations between the media, civil society organizations (CSOs), the government and citizens about integrity in the workplace.
The event, which is aimed at reengineering the minds of Nigerians towards appreciating the value of honesty, had in attendance, representatives of various media organizations, civil society organizations, and government agencies, among others.
Integrity Icon is a global campaign run by citizens to name and fame honest government officials whose work impacts society positively.
It aims to generate debate around the idea of integrity and demonstrate the importance of honesty and personal responsibility.
The campaign is currently active in Pakistan, Nepal, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, and Mexico.