Not In My Country, the Pan-Nigeria campaign against retail corruption and an initiative of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation (AFF) has reiterated its commitment to mobilizing Nigerians and especially students as part of its ambassadors in the battle against corruption and other forms of social vices undermining the nation and preventing it from achieving great potentials.
According to the Founder and Executive Director, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Mr Akin Fadeyi,
“The prevailing corruption in Nigeria is responsible for the current political, social and economic quagmire Nigeria is currently bedevilled with. This explains why Nigeria has witnessed backwardness in nearly all sectors within its corporate existence. It also explains why there has been so much desperation for survival as citizens who have felt shortchanged in their social contract by a corrupt system are seemingly to opt for a desperate, lawless approach to make ends meet. The prevailing state of fear and siege pervading our nation where citizens now have to watch their backs and sleep with one eye closed are fallouts of systemic and endemic corruption”.
Fadeyi said same citizens who are the major victims of corruption must now rise up and shun retail, petty and grassroots corruption. He said this is the only panacea to redirect the nation from its current trajectory of failure and slide to unprecedented anarchy in its history. “It is only if citizens say enough and actually shun the little lies and shady dealings that undermine us as a nation that government officials would realize that they can no longer take us for a ride. They will realize that we’ve donned the toga of dignity and shed the garb of indecency. This will compel them to sit up in the understanding that we shall no longer hail them on as stars who come back home with ill gotten wealth; and we shall no longer offer our communities as havens for them to erect mansions from stolen funds. The day we achieve this, we have seized the bull of corruption by it’s horn”. Fadeyi said.
Akin Fadeyi added that “though corruption or corrupt practice is a global challenge, yet it can be managed. It cannot be bigger than the future of Nigeria. This is why we have designed a grass-root Anti-Corruption Capacity Building Campaign targeting the general public and not excluding students of Secondary Schools who are equally a very vulnerable sector.
Recognizing the sponsors and funders of the capacity building, Fadeyi said, “we are extremely grateful to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the Project on Support to Anticorruption in Nigeria which is fully funded by the European Union for partnering with our nationwide campaign against retail and petty corruption- NOT IN MY COUNTRY.
Our quick areas of interest is to strengthen capacity by partnering with some institutions including law enforcement Agencies to combat petty corruption. We shall also work with select Nigerian schools and explore opportunities for instilling the right values and raising Anti-Corruption Ambassadors from many vulnerable sectors of the society”.
Foremost online publication, Premium Times was represented by Mr. Samuel Ogundipe who reiterated the imperatives of and advantages of shunning corruption. Ogundipe shared experience with the youths on how he has never allowed monetary or pecuniary gains to obstruct his line of duty as a Journalist who must consistently work within the ethical standards of decency as a watchdog of the society. “Many times I have turned down gifts and money offerings which I sense might cuff my hands and prevent me from discharging my lawful duties as a Journalist. This costs a lot of sacrifice as you know free money will take care of some pressing challenges. But in the long run, quick-fix solutions are also the prelude to a society suffering from morass and decadence. We must look away from instant fixes which lends a sturdy footing to corruption pillars”. Ogundipe added.
Speaking further, representative of Speakers Corner in Nigeria, Mrs Marylyn Iya noted thus: Nigeria must key into this Catch-Them-Young approach to tackle corruption. We know that Nigeria has a huge population of young people in this category and they are very germane in the nationwide campaign against corruption. They are the future and hope of Nigeria. We must involve them in the conversation for a new and better Nigeria. They have power and boundless energy to change many things from their thinking, attitude to life, national issues, nation building, mutual interaction, enterprise and national integrity”.
In his own remarks, Project Officer, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Ganiyu Olowu added that this anti-corruption knowledge-sharing session for Secondary Schools in Abuja will attract award of EU/UNDP/UNODC endorsed Certificates of Participation among other give-away to the participants. Some of the key learning will include integrity, accountability, self-discipline, Honesty, Anti-Corruption Tips, Diversity issues, Leadership, Sacrifice and more.
He added “In Lagos, we featured the popular presenters of Your View from the Television Continental – led by Morayo Afolabi-Brown and renowned actors; Hafiz Oyetoro a.k.a. Saka and Jude Orhorha to motivate our young future leaders.
In the last one year, Akin Fadeyi Foundation has creatively deployed one minute dramatic infomercial parodies to campaign against retail corruption in Nigeria through a citizen led initiative. This has been with the inclusion of top-rate thespians in Nigeria. NOT IN MY COUNTRY tells the story of the corrupt on the one part, and the campaigner against corruption on the other part – both from the same populace of a nation blessed with culturally adept and value-driven people but beleaguered by the social dysfunction of endemic corruption.