- Nigerian youths have been advised to see themselves as drivers of the anti-corruption crusade in the country
- This was the position of the executive director of Youth Alive Foundation, Dr Uduak Okon
- Dr Okon made the call during an interactive session with media practitioners in Abuja
A development practitioner, Dr Uduak Okon, has advised Nigerians to see themselves as drivers of the anti-corruption crusade in the country.
Dr Okon, who is the executive director of Youth Alive Foundation, made the statement during an interactive session with media practitioners in Abuja on Wednesday, December 6.
The event which had the theme: 'Increasing Youth Participation in the Fight against Corruption and the Role of Media' was part of activities to commemorate the International Anti-corruption Day on Saturday, December 9.
“There are many ways we are fighting corruption, I think the government is doing what they can do and civil societies are also trying but I think the youths are being left out...that demography should be engaged to greatly reduce corruption.
“I believe that the strategy is going to work. The youth can use technology to raise awareness about key social issues that affects the country.
“The government is not doing enough, they could do more, there is a lot of development aid going to the government.
“The citizens have to ask the government to do their part by holding them accountable through their voice. The citizen should demand accountability and transparency,” Dr Okon said.
She noted that with a population of almost 60% of Nigerians, combined with enforcement, corruption will be greatly reduced if the Nigerian youths are carried along by all stakeholders.
Speaking on the idea of Youth Participation Against Corruption (YPAC), she informed the audience that it is aimed at mobilizing and working with youth organizations to take an active part in the fight against corruption by creating platforms for Nigerian youths to engage through capacity building, creative avenues and other activities.
She lamented that Nigerians are stigmatized for not indulging in corruption, stressing that such mindset needs to change.
Also speaking at the event, the national speaker, National Youth Assembly of Nigeria, Akhigbe Olumhense emphasized the need to see corruption as a reason for all the problems in the country and called on Nigerians to rise above fear to take the anti-corruption message to every nook and cranny of the country..
His words: “No amount of pressure should make one become corrupt, the fight against corruption is the duty of all Nigerians. Let us continue the campaign and take it out to Nigerians to know that anti corruption is a big deal.
“We are not afraid of anything, we will face corruption at any level as it is key to developing this country going forward.”
On his part, the national coordinator, Safe and Sound, Chris Ugwuara, noted with dismay that Nigeria is still practicing the traditional law enforcement which has not helped the anti- corruption fight.
He also gave insights into what his organisation is doing to ensure that the future of the average Nigerian youth is secured.
“We are working with youths in schools on how to prevent crimes in Nigeria in areas as anti corruption, drug prevention, human trafficking and the likes.
“We are also working to ensure that the students are well equipped with the necessary skills that can help them to be on their own even after secondary or vocational education. We also engage professionals and take them to schools to educate the students on how to be independent,” he said.
Similarly, the Senior Programmes Officer of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Ibrahim Farouk stated that the anti-corruption efforts many times seems to be led solely by the government, noting that if the young people are not involved in the fight against corruption then the fight will definitely fail.
In his remark, the YALI Network Cordinator, Ovo Otarigho, said the network encourages young people to go into entrepreneurship, public management and pay more attention to self development, adding that all the plans cannot be achieved if the country remains in corruption.
Meanwhile, a front-line aspirant for the position of the Peoples Democratic Party national chairman, Professor Tunde Adeniran, has hailed Nigerian youths for the successes recorded in the recent #EndSARS campaign on social media.
According to Professor Adeniran, the campaign is a clear demonstration of the power and numbers of ideas.
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