Group Engages CBOs in Fight against Corruption, Says Sleaze Prevalent In Communities

By Ikeugonna Eleke

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), has enlisted community based organisations (CBOs) in the fight against corruption.

The group said that its findings had shown that there was a lot of corrupt practices in communities, especially in the execution of projects.

The coordinator of the NGO, Dr Chido Onumah, stated this in Awka, Anambra State, at the weekend, during a one-day town hall meeting held for leaders of communities, community based organisations and heads of anti-corruption agencies.

Speaking at the meeting with the theme: ”The role of community-based organisations in entrenching whistle blowing at the grassroots”, he said the group, through its project tagged: ”Corruption Anonymous (CORA)”, it had been enlightening stakeholders on the need to blow the whistle on corrupt practices around them.

Onumah said: ‘Whistle blowing has proven to be the most direct method of exposing corrupt acts. We are both morally and legally bound as citizens not to keep silent or acquiesce to any act of corruption or wrongdoing whenever we see one.

‘Today, our mission is to make the CBOs which have an enduring presence in the communities, a formidable collaborator in disavowing the negative culture of silence and embracing the more rewarding attitude of speaking out in the face of anything that could potentially harm or endanger their environments.

‘We all are aware that corruption thrives in multiple forms in our communities, but most visibly in the misappropriation of funds and abandonment of projects that could bring development and meaningful turn around the lives of the people.

‘AFRICMIL will work with the CBOs to galvanize the mass of the people at the grassroots to adopt the culture of blowing the whistle by reporting these and other corrupt acts as a way of fighting corruption in the country.’

During the meeting, most participants relayed first hand experiences of how they uncovered corrupt practices by government contractors in the communities.

The event was also attended by some coordinators of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Oshodi Johnson and Kennedy Ebhotemen, respectively.