From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Global Charity organisation, MacArthur Foundation, has pleaded with the federal government to integrate anti-corruption into school curriculum to make the fight against corruption more effective.
Africa Director, MacArthur Foundation, Kola Shettima, made the appeal in Abuja during an anti-corruption townhall interactive meeting in collaboration with Signature Communication.
The townhall meeting held at Mpape, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) surbub, was used to reward credible Nigerians that have disassociated themselves from corruption.
Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines at the event, the Country representative equally suggested the possibility of involving religious leaders in the anti-corruption war to influence citizens on the right values.
Asked his take on incorporating anti corruption in school curriculum, he replied: “Certainly yes and I think it will be the best way to catch them young. It will help the young ones can know what is right or wrong to come up with the right values on what they do. We have to also involve religious leaders to influence the citizens on the right values.”
He also gave insight into the resolve of the Foundation to organise the townhall meeting, noting; “It was in our determination to fight corruption that we organised secondary school competition, asking young people to express themselves on what they think of corruption.
“If we are able to get young people to be different from the older generation, it will be one way of contributing towards eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
“We also think that by bringing various associations like the Okada riders, road transport workers and others that are also part of the issues we are dealing with because they are among the many people that contribute to this without understanding that what they are doing is wrong.
“Organising this townhall meeting where ordinary citizens will speak ordinary language is one way for us to achieve the desired target. We think that involving the citizens is very important because we don’t want corruption discussion to be an Asokoro kind of thing.
“We want the citizens to be involved because they are the ones to make the changes. A president or governor can come and go but the citizens remain the same. We want them to own the project. We want to see the greater participation of citizens in the fight against corruption,” he noted.
Speaking similarly, the CEO of Signature Communication boss, Vinmartin Obiora Ilo, disclosed that the event was used to honour an Okada rider who returned millions of Naira his passenger forgot, a restaurant operator who returned the money her customer left after eating in her shop and the Ebelebe women for refusing to be part of vote buying during Anambra State governorship election.
“We are here in line with our objective to take corruption fight to the grassroots and to the ordinary people. We would have done it elsewhere but we settled for Mpape since it is where our target audience are and where we can break down the anti-corruption into ordinary language.
“Corruption Tori Townhall is held quarterly across the country. The last edition was held in Achi, Oji-River LGA in Enugu State and after this one in Abuja, the next one will be in Ibadan. The idea is to give the ordinary people a voice and opinion about the war against corruption and the impact of corruption in their lives.
“If the people own the anti-corruption war, they will be able to challenge their Councillors, LGA Chairmen and Governors, interrogate and hold them accountable on their stewardship. We want them to buy into the fight so that it will not be an elitist fight.
“Today, we honoured the Ebelebe women who rejected the corrupt N5000 bribe during the Anambra election, preferring to challenge the candidates to do their roads and provide other social amenities. We also honoured an Okada rider who returned millions of Naira his passenger forgot and a restaurant operator who returned the money her customer left after eating in her shop,” he disclosed.