PACAC, NOA take anti-corruption fight to rural Kebbi

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The Presidential Advisory Committee Against (PACAC) is partnering with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to take the fight against corruption to the 21 Local Government Areas  (LGAs) of Kebbi.

The Executive Secretary of PACAC, Prof. Sadiq Isah-Radda, while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on public education/citizen enlightenment programme in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday said the fight required all tiers and arms of government, as well as all citizens.

He said that the committee, in collaboration with other stakeholders within and outside the country, had achieved considerable results in the fight against corruption in Nigeria as evident in the repatriation of looted funds.

Isah-Radda, however, said that the fight was largely at the federal level, saying not much had been done at the state and local government levels

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“From 2015 to date, the Federal Government has done a lot in the fight against corruption.

“We can say we have 70 per cent progress at the Federal Government level, and we can say that we have made some progress, but the same has not been seen at the states and local government level.

“The states and local governments control as much as 48 per cent of national resources monthly, but as per as fight against the corruption is concerned at states and local governments, it’s business as usual.

“We realised that the job will be half done if we simply concentrate on the Federal Government in the fight against corruption.

“President Buhari felt that we should take the fight to states and local governments, ” he said.

He said the committee decided to give the fight a holistic approach, hence the partnership with NOA, considering its extended reach, to spread the message to all nooks and crannies of the country.

“We realised that our anti-corruption agencies have no structural coverage in all the LGAs but NOA is found everywhere in Nigeria even at the ward level.

“Therefore, any message you want to pass as a committee you can pass it easily through NOA and that is why we found NOA as a very good partner in the fight against corruption,” he said.

The executive secretary stressed the need for the continuous propagation of the message in order to make the desired impact.

On his part, Kebbi Director of NOA, Mr Joseph Yaro-Machika, stressed the need to champion the fight against corruption for the betterment of posterity.

“It is our call that we should give our today for the betterment of posterity in order for them to have a country devoid of corruption that derails nations.

“Corruption is a global enemy that should be fought collectively in all nooks and crannies,” he said.

Yaro-Machika noted that the agency had been championing the campaign against indiscipline and promoting value reorientation.

He said that indiscipline was at the root of corruption, adding that the collaboration between PACAC and NOA through sensitisation in the fight against corruption would yield the desired impact.

The director maintained that the stakeholders’ meeting was an avenue to spread the message on the collective responsibility of all in the fight against corruption.

Gov. Atiku Bagudu commended the Federal Government for its effort in the fight against corruption.

“So we must all resolve to fight the monster to a logical conclusion,” he urged.

Bagudu, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture, Alhaji Garba Hamisu-Zuru, said the state government had aligned with the initiative and was supporting the crusade to curb the menace of corruption.

“We must imbibe positive behaviour that will lead to the fight against corruption in the country,” he said.

In a paper he personally presented as guest speaker on the “Role of Citizens in the Fight Against Corruption“, Hamisu-Zuru, stressed the need for representatives in the National Assembly to fashion out ways for citizens to report corrupt practices and even be rewarded for doing so.

“The whistleblower policy now in place is cumbersome, expository and sometimes abused by interested parties,” he said.

He urged the citizens to shun bootlicking and avoid asking politicians and public office holders to solve their personal problems.

“They should begin to question source of unexplained affluence and should not vote for money bags.

“They should be resolute and determined to bequeath a better nation for generations to come,” the secretary urged.

In his paper on “Value Reorientation and the Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria“, Mr Ibrahim Tomo, a lecturer at Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, urged the government to use anti-corruption agencies to properly investigate corrupt practices and to mete out appropriate sanctions.

“Value reorientation programmes should be entrenched in our educational system in Nigeria that will lead to the restoration and the redemption of the country’s image and character.

“Parents should endeavour to fulfil their parental role, goals, values, and manners that will influence the children’s moral and social behaviour positively.

“The media has a viable role to play in enlightening the general public on the overall effects of negative values and the need for hard work, fair play, self-employment and law-abiding citizens through advertisements, seminars, symposia and other measures,” Tomo advised.

The stakeholders at the meeting were drawn from the traditional institution, religious organisations, civil societies and security agencies, among others. (NAN)