The Rivers State Director of National Orientation Agency, Mr Young Ayo-Tamuno has blamed the family system, educational institutions and faith-based organizations for the rise in corruption in Nigeria.
He stated this at one-day citizen enlightenment program being organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, in collaboration with Rivers State branch of National Orientation Agency in Port Harcourt, with the theme “Value reorientation and the Fight Against Corruption”
Young said the program is being organized at the state level to cascade value reorientation to both citizens at the state and local government levels in order to eschew corruption in Nigeria.
“If we are fighting corruption, it has to be within the ambit of the law. We must be very careful in the fight against corruption so we don’t prosecute corruption just in the media alone, we also have to allow the court to do their own part of the job.
“Value Reorientation is very crucial in the fight against corruption. People live in extended families, the issue of value reorientation should be collective.
“Corruption is systematic in the country. So, the fight against corruption must be a collective approach and not by government alone.
“Three basic institutions that drive corruption is the family, the education institutions and faith-based organizations, and the take here is that they have to return their messages.
“The family is the basic unit of socialization. Aiding children in examination malpractices should stop, the same for the religious heads who emphasises prosperity over moral rectitude of individuals, all these should stop because you are destroying society in the process”
Prof. Femi Odekunle, an executive member of PACAC called on Nigerians to synergize with the presidency in the fight against corruption.
Prof. Femi Odekunle who is also a professor of criminology for decades in an interview said ” Corruption in Nigeria has become endemic and systematic so much that in every situation, corruption is demanded of one to get anything done in the public arena.
“The major perpetrators of corruption in the country are actually leaders. Political leaders, professional leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, etc. In other words, the elites in the country are major perpetrators of corruption. As it were, the perpetration of this corruption by the elites in the country trickles down as it affects the middle class and the lowest class, artisans and the working class.
“However, irked by the acidic corruption that has eaten deep into systems in the country, spurn the drive and agitation to tackle and combat this corruption to the barest minimum, the President Buhari-led administration in 2015 and to set up PACAC with the charge to drive processes and advocacy to synergize with well-meaning Nigerians and in collaboration with NOA in the country to fight corruption to a defeat”.
Prof. Odekunle said, to fight corruption today in Nigeria, there must be individuals self-consciousness of value re-orientation.
“Value Re-Orientation can be used to simmer down to the population/citizens the emphasis on value importance because this problem of corruption in the country has bedevilled Nigerians for decades.
“The fight against corruption must be a collective effort by Nigerians to bring it to a barest minimum because the President can’t be everywhere the same time”
On his part, the National Secretary of PACAC, Prof. Sadiq Isah Radda in his welcome address, said “the fight against corruption can not be fought only at the federal government level. It is very important for the state and the local government to be involved in the fight against corruption by being transparent in governance.
“A lot has been done at the federal level in the fight against corruption. The effect of corruption has affected all the citizens in the country. Corruption should be fought no matter your religious affiliation or ethnic group.
“If we fight corruption to the barest minimum, possibility is that Nigeria will be an enviable country”
Also, the Rivers State Commissioner of Information and communication, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim who was represented by his ministry’s Director of Public Enlightenment, Mr Obelle Chu said, “the fight against corruption must be fought only and only within the ambit of the law”
“If we must make progress and achieve any meaningful development, we must fight this corruption within the ambit of the law”
In his paper presentation, Prof. Darlington Iwarimie-Jaja who was represented by Prof. Lasisis Iwarimie-Jaja, a lecturer at Niger Delta University, Otueke in Bayelsa State said “the need for value reorientation as a way of dealing with corruption in Nigeria is a social necessity if the country is to redeem its image in the global environment”
“There is the need to reorientate the country towards imbibing the values that underpinned the social relations of the pre-colonial societies. While it is arguable that these societies are irretrievably gone, the values that ensure minimal corruption at the time can be instilled in the minds of modern Nigerian citizens through the family and education institutions”
“A good value reorientation program can go a long way to play the role of retracing good values, reuniting as well as reorganizing the country”