Women join fight against corruption
By Moshood Adebayo
It was another plus for the South-West women, led by the wife of the Lagos State governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, as they united against corruption. It was at the launh of the Nigerian Women Against Corruption (WAC), held in Ikeja, Lagos. It is a project of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the Office of Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari.
The launch was a parade of women in the region with wives of governors of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti also in attendance. Women groups, market women, female school pupils, non-governmental organisations, anti-corruption organisations, the National Council of Women Society also graced the occassion.
Mrs. Ambode charged women, irrespective of their socio-economic status to take a stand against corruption by ensuring that their children were given the right upbringing based on time-honoured values of honesty, integrity, trust, fear of God and dignity of labour. She emphasized the need for early inculcation of right virtues in children from the home front, especially by discouraging any act, behaviour and attitude that abets corruption.
Speaking on behalf of wives of South-West governors, she identified corruption as one of the major factors responsible for the current state of the Nigerian economy. She maintained that women were strategically positioned by their role as moulders of characters and behaviours to lead the way in the anti-graft war:
“The fight against corruption must be seen as a priority in which everyone must be involved if we desire to address the issue of poverty and make the economy work for everyone.
“I will therefore use this opportunity to lend my voice to all our mothers and sisters in Lagos State and the South West to take a stand against corruption. Let us start the fight from our homes by discouraging any act, behaviour and attitude that aids and abets corruption. If we succeed as individuals in our various homes, there will be no room for corruption and corrupt practices in the larger society.”
She said the fight against corruption must be seen as a priority in which, everyone must be involved, “if we desire to sustainable address the issue of poverty and also make the economy work for everyone.
“It is a fact that women account for almost half of the Nigerian population, it therefore follows that such a huge population must be carried along as critical stakeholders on issues bothering on national development.
“If we view corruption as one of the manifeststions of deficient moral values, we must begin to pay proper attention to the home and ensure that our children are given the right upbringing based, on time-honoured values of honesty, intrgrity, trust, the fear of God and dignity of labour.
“Let us start the fight from our homes by discouraging any act, behaviour and attitude, that aids and abets corruption. If we succeed as individuals in our varius homes, there will be no room for corruption and corrupt practices in the larger society.”
Acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, linked the socio-economic problems plaguing the country to long years of the unbroken chain of corruption:
“In fact, corruption is the cause of the current recession and the falling value of the Naira. If there is one enemy that we need to urgently confront, it is corruption; it has eroded almost all the benefits that we should be enjoying from our natural resources.”
Human rights lawyer, Ayo Obe, who was guest speaker urged women to set the pace for the desired level of morality in the country. She recalled how many Nigerian women in the past courageously fought evils and vices of their times and today being remembered for this: “Let us emulate them and etch our names in the good book of history in Nigeria.”
Wife of the National Overseer of the Reedemed Christian Church of God, Mrs. Folu Adeboye, urged women not to let the crusade against corruption stop at the launch:
“Let us carry this campaign against corruption beyond here. Let us carry it to our homes, markets and schools. Let us say no to corruption for the sake of our children, generations and future generations.”
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, urged parents to inculcate godly virtues in their children, and teach them to shun any corrupt practices.
Waka Queen, Salawa Abeni, with her group thrilled the audience as she sang in each dialect of the participating South West government.