The chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has called for urgent resuscitation of the people’s lost values of honesty and integrity in order to stamp out corruption in the country.
The ICPC chairman made the call during a one-day Stakeholders Zonal Dialogue on the Implementation of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Wednesday in Lagos.
He said that corruption had become rampant in the society because “the values of yester-years of truthfulness, nationalism and respect for human dignity had been lost on us.”
Owasanoye, represented by Mrs Olubukola Balogun, an ICPC Board Member, said that the absence of sanction and reward regimes had been the bane of previous attempts to rejuvenate national ethics.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Sept. 28, 2020 launched National Ethics and Integrity Policy in recognition of the pivotal role played by value re-orientation in fighting corruption.
“The policy seeks to promote our societal core values of human dignity, voice and participation, patriotism, personal responsibility, integrity, national unity and professionalism,” he said.
The ICPC boss then urged all stakeholders to take ownership of the policy and sensitise their various constituents on its core values.
Dr Garba Abari, Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the task of changing any society for positive growth and development “lies not only with the government and its institutions but on all well-meaning individuals and organizations.”
Abari, represented by Mr Sola Babalola, NOA Director in Lagos State, urged all stakeholders to make the policy not just a working document but a national creed imbibed by everyone both in private and national lives.
Speaking at the event, the Onigando of Igando, Lagos State, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, said that some government agencies and departments were encouraging corruption by collecting bribe from job seekers.
He urged the commission to take the dialogue down to public office holders as well as people in government ministries and departments.
Speaking at the dialogue, Chief Imam of NASFAT, Alhaji Abdul-Lasisi Onike, also said that the government was encouraging corruption with plea bargain which allowed public officials convicted for corruption to keep part of their loot without sanction.
Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Lagos State, Rt Rev. Stephen Adegbite, said that Nigeria deserved better than what it is getting from its leaders.
The CAN chairman then expressed optimism about the country’s future and prayed that Nigeria would not become an abandoned project.
The South-West Zonal Dialogue on National Ethics and Integrity Policy, organized by ICPC, was attended by traditional and religious leaders as well as youth groups and anti-corruption stakeholders.
From Left: Representative of CAN Chairman, Lagos, RT. Rev. Stephen Adegbite, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, the Onigando of Igando, Mr Yakubu Habu, the Deputy Director, Staff Welfare and Training, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mrs Bukola Balogun, Board Member, ICPC, representing ICPC Chairman, Mr Sola Babalola, Lagos State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) and his Deputy in a group photograph during the Commission Stakeholders Meeting on Ethics in Lagos on Wednesday.