Garba Shehu, Chairman, House Committee on Anti-Corruption, has urged Nigerians to leverage on the Freedom of Information Act, Whistle-blowing policy and the Open Government Imitative, OGP, to enhance the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.
Mr Shehu made the call on Monday in Abuja at a rally organised by Say No Campaign a coalition of Civil Society Groups to mark the 2019 World Anti-corruption Day with the theme “United Against Corruption.’’
According to him, Nigerians can use these policies and laws as powerful tools to advocate for good governance and demand accountability especially with the aid of social media.
“I want to commend the Coalition of Civil Society for taking it upon them to sensitise Nigerians to the importance of Dec. 9 set aside by UN to highlight devastating impact of corruption.
“Corruption deprives the citizens of the resources that should be used to improve on our socio economic wellbeing; we have bad roads, poor schools, we cannot really over-emphasise the devastating impact of corruption.
“We should do whatever we can as citizens, as civil society organisations to highlight the impact of corruption in all spheres of our society, because it thrives everywhere, so the war has to be total.’’
Mr Shehu urged Nigerians to be vigilant and work against corruption while the National Assembly would continue to advocate for measures that would empower citizens to be able to fight the war.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Co-convener, Say No Campaign, said that the rally was organised to create awareness on the need for citizens to join in the fight against corruption.
Mr Nwagwu said that it was the constitutional responsibility of the government to fight corruption and it would be subverting the constitution for not doing that.
He said it was the duty of citizens to follow-up abandoned projects by tracking the contractors to ensure they deliver the projects.
Vivian Bellonwu, another co-convener, said that the position of Nigeria today why the country was not where it ought to be was due to the devastating effect of corruption.
Ms Bellonwu urged the judiciary to not compromise on corruption cases but help in convicting criminals to serve as deterrent to others .
“So today, we want to join our voices not just as women or children but as Nigerians to say that we collectively reject corruption.
“We call on anti-graft agencies to take all necessary measures to see that they bring all perpetrators to book,” she said.