The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has described the decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to take the fight against corruption to the grassroots to give the fight a more desired bite as a relieving and welcome development.
In a release by the Anti-Corruption outfit’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by its Coordinator for Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, he stated, “There is no gainsaying the fact that, the current government, headed by Muhammadu Buhari, has frontally combatted the ogre of corruption, perhaps more frontally than any of its predecessors since the advent of this civil arrangement in 1999 even though it has not been perfect and outrightly victorious as many Nigerians would wish in the fight against the national scourge. The enormity of the fight could, however, be seen in what different researches have revealed lost to grand financial corruption by the country since independence in 1960. At the last count, over USD250bn (Two Hundred and Fifty Billion Dollars) have been lost to corruption just by public officials in the country who were elected or staged a coup to forcefully overthrow a people-chosen regime, under same guise of corrupt enrichment, only for the emerging junta to willfully exhibit grandeur of corrupt enrichment while stifling spaces for resistance and criticism against them.
During a One-Day workshop organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) with the theme, ‘Value Reorientation And the Fight Against Corruption’, the PACAC’s Executive Secretary, had bemoaned the rate at which corruption has permeated all facets of our national life. CACOL, in all its activities aimed at complementing genuine government’s efforts at stamping out corruption, has always noted the fact that successive governments in Nigeria in recent years have institutionalized corruption and made it a way of life amongst Nigerians by their acts of omission and commission. This is why we are of the serious conviction that for this morbid culture of impunity and corruptive living to be extirpated, the fight must eventually also be institutionalized. This is more reason CACOL has taken the struggle against grand heist and impunity by our government officials who live on the pulse of the public funds, but still find it expedient to demonstrate their kleptomania to the grassroots through our various local government authorities (LGAs) and local council development areas (LCDAs) which was titled C-GATE, meaning CACOL’s Good-Governance, Accountability and Transparency Education project in Lagos and Osun states.
The CACOL boss added, “Since CACOL started this initiative of approaching the grassroots to take full ownership of this fight against corruption, we have received positive signals and we hereby implore the government to evolve a more broadened approach that would design and incorporate the study of Corruption, it’s devastating and destructive effects on society and its people, as a curriculum/subject to be taught in all public and private secondary schools in the country at both Junior and Senior Secondary schools level/s (JSS, SSS) for it to take firm roots and for upcoming Nigerians to be wary of what Corruption could wreak on a nation. Such would be climaxed by Anti-Corruption cadres in our various schools that would serve as veritable Whistleblowers against corruption wherever and whenever the cankerworm rears its ugly head. We as Anti-Corruption crusader are willing and ready to partner governments at all levels to make this fight a success, in order to rid our nation of its destructive agents and finally rollback corruption.