By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, says no less than 37,000 corps members across the country staged a road walk against corruption, Friday, February, 14, 2020, reports Alexander Johnson Adejoh.
According to him, the walk took place across all the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where 1,000 corps members participated in each state.
Ibrahim, who explained that the road walk was to sensitize the public on the dangers of corruption in society and its implications, also charged Nigerians to work hard to earn legitimate living devoid of corruption, noting that hard work always paid.
According to him, the road walk expectedly witnessed massive participation from labour unions, trade unions, community based organizations and civil society organizations, among others.
He said, ‘If you want to tackle corruption from the root, the best option is to use younger Nigerians who are the future leaders of our country.
‘The Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, deems it fit to use our corps members to further sensitize Nigerians on the plague of corruption in the country.
‘The NYSC has been in partnership with the EFCC for a very long time, we have a CDS group known as Anti-Corruption CDS which on weekly basis embarks on the sensitization of Nigerians on corruption.’
The exercise took a different phase in Anambra State as corps members and other youth agencies came out en mass to observe the walk in Awka, recording the highest number of turn out.
Speaking to Fides the State Coordinator NYSC, Anambra State, Mr Kehinde Aremu, said the objectives of the walk included sensitizing and mobilizing youths across the country to reject the evils of corrupt practices.
‘It is also to encourage the youths to be anti-corruption advocates and ambassadors, as well as encouraging them to shun corrupt practices, thereby providing information and actionable intelligence on fraudsters in their localities to the EFCC.
‘The corps in Anambra State will continue to partner with the EFCC to draw local and global attention to the fact that corruption is not our culture and does not grow on our soil. It is an accidental dissatisfaction and must not be allowed to remain in our country,’ Aremu Said.
Mr Andrew Kumapayi, Sector Commander, FRSC, Anambra State; Mr Kehinde Aremu, State Coordinator, NYSC Anambra; Mr Michael Nzekwe of Asset Forfeiture Department, EFCC, Anambra State, among other dignitaries, graced the event.
. . . As Nigerians React
By Precious Ukeje
As the country witnessed a march against corruption, Wednesday, February 14, organized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, some Nigerians have bared their minds on the walk.
The walk, which took off in Anambra State at Aroma Junction and terminated at the gate of the Federal Science Technical College, Awka, according to Michael Nzekwe of the Asset Forfeiture Department of the leading anti-graft agency, was the first organized by the body in collaboration with a youth-centric organization.
Fides went to town to sample the impressions of some Nigerians about the walk, as well as to measure its impact.
Ekemini Joseph of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Uyo, speaking with Fides, questioned the process of organizing the walk.
He said he feared that in the process of printing the T-shirts used during the walk and other ancillary activities during the planning, few persons might have engaged in some fraudulent acts which nullified the essence. He said it did not have any impact whatsoever.
A former United Kingdom resident and indigene of Awka, Mrs Chinwe Nosike, however told Fides along Zik Avenue that she supported the walk and regretted that corruption had eaten deep into the fabrics of the nation. She added that people who were supposed to stand against corruption were rather supporting it.
She blamed the youths and elders for their roles in handling corruption with kid gloves and noted that there was no value that the younger generation would be taught if things did not change.
Responding to the impact of the walk, Nosike argued that the walk had a very high impact, but added that the number of persons who participated in the walk was not enough to march against corruption.
Citing the United Kingdom as a case study of a country that marched against issues, she urged Nigerians not to sit down and watch what was happening.
On measuring the impact of the walk, Nosike said that was just the beginning and hoped that in subsequent times, Nigerians would rise to the cause of fighting corruption.
Fides Daniel of Ogene FM said there was a good motive behind the walk, describing it as a step in the right direction.
He also added that the choice of the anti-graft agency to include youth corps members in the walk against corruption was a welcome development, as, according to him, it would make individuals take the issue more seriously, rather than just having the EFCC which would be questionable.
Daniel, who did not talk about measuring the impact of the walk, however noted that it was left for Nigerians who saw what happened to take heed as well as desist from corruption in every form.
Francis Nwankwo was indifferent, neither showing sympathy nor otherwise, for the impact of the walk.
Meanwhile, Nzekwe, while addressing the press, said the choice of young people to be part of the walk was strategic as the future belonged to them.
He said that while the fight against corruption should be everyone’s interest, the agency would achieve more with young people as whistle blowers in the various institutions they found themselves.