The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has urged citizens, anti-corruption institutions, and grassroots stakeholders to remain undaunted in the fight against corruption and its crippling effects on development and quality of life as Nigeria joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Anti-Corruption Day in 2022.
This was contained in a statement, Thursday, by the Executive Director, CHRICED, Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi.
The statement read;
It is indisputable that corruption has grave and devastating consequences, particularly for poor, marginalized, and vulnerable groups.
Corruption deprives the majority of citizens of essential services, such as health, education, basic infrastructure, and other amenities that make life livable.
Corruption is cancer that not only impedes the collective development goals of a nation but also exacerbates the suffering of its citizens. An example of the impacts of corruption and poor governance is the unacceptable degree of poverty in the country.
This reality is well documented in the National Bureau of Statistics’ recent multi-dimensional poverty report, which revealed that a staggering 133 million Nigerians have fallen into the trap of multi-dimensional poverty, despite billions of Naira spent by the Nigerian Federal, State, and Local Governments.
This means that 63 percent of Nigerians are living in multidimensional poverty as a result of the government’s failure to impact their lives through the provision of services such as health, education, and housing.
However, as the federal and state governments continue to trade blame over who is to blame for plunging citizens into poverty, CHRICED calls on citizens to use International Anti-Corruption Day to reflect on how to fight for their fundamental right to a good life.
Nigerians who have endured the brunt of corruption and its consequences cannot afford to remain silent in the face of adversity and deprivation. Citizens must raise their collective voice and leverage to condemn corruption and demand accountability.
CHRICED is also convinced that the 2023 general elections will be the latest opportunity for citizens to use their vote to elect leaders and future governance actors who will act in the best interests of the people and not use their positions for corrupt enrichment and mass poverty.
With the theme UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption, CHRICED calls for unity and a unified front to eradicate corruption at all societal levels. We are convinced that the message of unity, as a sure step to dealing a decisive blow to corruption and its perpetrators, is crucial, particularly in a country like Nigeria, where corrupt politicians are quick to exploit ethnic, religious, and sectarian sentiments before and after stealing the country’s resources intended for the common good.
CHRICED urges Nigerians to realize that corrupt officials who indulge in actions of self-aggrandizement at the expense of the country’s future are blind to tribe and religion. People, who bear the brunt of the actions of a few corrupt individuals, must therefore never allow themselves to be split along ethnic or sectarian lines while denouncing such behavior or ensuring its perpetrators are brought to justice.
People at the grassroots level, who are the victims of corruption, must acquire the necessary skills and information to expose corruption and hold accountable those responsible.
Finally, as Nigeria approaches the general elections in 2023, CHRICED urges candidates, political parties, poll workers, and voters to avoid all forms of electoral corruption.
CHRICED also calls on all political parties and their candidates to provide a comprehensive and actionable blueprint outlining how they intend to prevent corruption and its debilitating effects on governance outcomes.
This is the only way for political actors to demonstrate that they support and are willing to implement Section 15 (5), which states that the “State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”