By Friday Idachaba
Lokoja, Feb. 20, 2019 Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), on Wednesday charged anti-corruption agencies in the country to shun political bias in the fight against corruption.
Miliki gave the charge in his welcome address to a one-day Review Meeting for Media and CSOs on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability in Elections in Lokoja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was organised by the Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation with support from Mac Arthur Foundation.
The Executive Director said political biases could undermine public faith in anti-corruption efforts, adding that anti-graft agencies and institutions must operate independently within the scope of the law.
Miliki said government must be seen to be fair in applying sanctions while stakeholders must continuously engage the system of governance to ensure that public funds were used judiciously.
According to him, anti-corruption strategies are less likely to be successful when entrenched corrupt practices are considered impossible to overcome.
He also stated that education could help prevent corruption by fostering a culture of integrity in schools and urged parents, teachers and school administrators to recognise their responsibility in inculcating anti corruption principles.
”An effective way to tackle corruption is to teach children to recognise it, reject it and condemn those who tolerate it.
”Schools curricula must incorporate ethics and civic education on integrity and transparency,” he said.
Miliki further charged civil society and community leaders to develop and promote a national social contract that rewards accountability and enforces social sanctions for unacceptable behaviours.
Mrs Gift Omoniwa, ActionAid Nigeria Programme Manager and Executive Director, Participation for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), in her remarks, called for more synergy on issues of public service that would respond to the needs of the people, acceptable and open to scrutiny.
Mr Donatus Okpe, former Managing Director, Kogi State-owned Graphic Newspaper, in his remarks, charged media stations to uphold the ethical values of the profession and guard against promotion of hate speech and fake news.
Mr Hamza Aliyu, Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA), stressed the need for Media and CSOs to constantly engage the electoral umpire to ensure that every aspect of election management functioned optimally.
Edited by Fela Fashoro/Wale Ojetimi