Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission says it is wrong to tag all Nigerians as corrupt in financial or other dealings of human endeavours.
ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the Behaviour Change Conference and Exhibition 2023, with the theme, ‘Anti-Corruption Interventions in Nigeria-A Behavioral Change Perspective Of What Needs To Shift’ organised by MacArthur Foundation, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other partners.
“At one of the recent Policy Dialogues organised by the ICPC, two very vocal participants boisterously but erroneously maintained that Nigerians who are not corrupt are those who have not had the opportunity to abuse, or collude in the abuse, of public office, authority or position.
“This erroneous belief by relatively few people that all Nigerians are corrupt can be considered in the light of the traditional anti-corruption interventions in Nigeria and the recent efforts towards expanding the focus of anti-corruption interventions to include the behavioural change approach.
“From my experience in leading the anti-corruption fight at PACAC (Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption) and the ICPC, I can tell you categorically that not all Nigerians are corrupt,” Owasanoye said.
He said some of the heads of government organisation fall prey to corruption blackmail from their subordinates, because they did not read and understand some of the rules, thus get misled by the same people that would now send anonymous petitions against them.
The lead organizer of the event and the founder of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Mr Akin Fadeyi, said, “This event was not just to showcase our work, it was strategic to reevaluating our scorecards and redesign more robust templates aimed at scaling up our milestones in measurable impactful proportions.
“We are excited this event was successful and was well attended by experts and the international development community. It is imperative to convey our gratitude to the Nigerian Media across-board especially, as they have been the sustained strategic partners through which our efforts are conveyed to the larger populace.”
On his part, the Country Director, MacArthur Foundation, Dr Kole Shettima, wondered when Nigerians politicians would be self-reformed to work for national interest, rather their personal interests that rather harm national interests.
Also, Mr Oliver Stolpe, Country Director, UNODC, represented by Ms. Lilian Ekeanyanwu, said, “The fight against corruption is not complete without addressing issues of transparency, integrity, and accountability. At the core of these values is behavioural change or the attitudes of citizens and their government. As we already know, combatting and preventing corruption, requires a holistic framework and multi-sectoral approach.”