Group Designates November 23 National “Day of Outrage Against Impunity”



(Nigeria News,Opinions Today) The Stop Impunity Nigeria (S.I.N.) Campaign, a multi-stakeholder project to check impunity in Nigeria, today called on all Nigerians to observe a national “Day of Outrage Against Impunity” on November 23.
In a statement in Lagos, the campaign coordinator, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, of Human Development Initiatives (HDI), announced that the S.I.N. Campaign proposes to “use the day to bring together all pockets of civil society organizations and campaigns working separately in a nationally coordinated strategy and synergy for a series of coordinated critical mass of anti impunity activities in a way that government and other perpetrators of impunity cannot ignore.”
According to Professor Owasanoye, “the activities will be used not only to raise public awareness about what creates and sustains a culture of impunity, but it is expected to prompt concerned citizens nation-wide to take action, make their voices heard and to demand rule of law, accountability, improved governance, promote justice and democratic ideals.”
He explained that having regard to the magnitude of the problem in Nigeria, the Day of Outrage Against Impunity will be observed in the country once every quarter, beginning with November 23 this year, which coincides with the International Day to End Impunity, and that each event will spotlight one of the four thematic areas that the Stop Impunity Nigeria campaign focuses on.
Professor Owasanoye noted that the theme for the last quarter of 2013 will be public finance management and accountability because November 23 falls within the period when the national budget is undergoing consideration at the National Assembly while preparations are also on-going at state levels for state budgets. He added that it would be a good opportunity to highlight the impunity challenges inherent in the budget process and in budgeting in the hope that the various actors will be minded to remedy the situation.
He said: “It is intended that advocacy activities will focus on budget transparency, accountability and elimination of waste and duplicity that has characterized national budgets since the return to civil rule in 1999. The leakages, fraud and lack of fiscal management in budgets and the budgeting process has escalated corruption.”
Professor Owasanoye outlined the calendar for future “Days of Outrage Against Impunity” and themes as follows: For the first quarter of 2014 – Impunity within Civil Society; for the second quarter of 2014 – Impunity in the Rule of Law; and for the third quarter of 2014 – Impunity in the Management of Elections, after which the cycle will be repeated in a sustained multi-year campaign until impunity is drastically curbed in all sectors of the Nigerian society.
He said the S.I.N. Campaign had designed detailed and elaborate plans and strategies to prosecute the campaign and was working with like-minded civil society organizations as well as other interest groups and stakeholders around the country to ensure that the Day is observed nationwide. The proposed actions to be carried out by citizens will be announced in the period leading up to November 23.
Professor Owasanoye called on all well meaning citizens who disapprove of the culture of impunity in the country’s public finance management to join the actions to express their outrage on November 23.

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