… says Commission needs citizens’ collaboration
The Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has urged Nigerians to report corrupt individuals in public offices to assist in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The Commission, which has been educating the public against corruption through implementing the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP), says citizens remain critical to instilling integrity in society by promptly reporting corrupt acts, especially persons in public office.
ICPC’s Director of Public Enlightenment and Education, Alhaji Mohammed Ashiru Baba, made the call during PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, an anti-corruption radio programme produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.
Speaking on the operations of the Commission, Baba stressed that “ICPC is not populated by spirits but human beings who need information from the public to tackle corruption.”
“Citizens assume that the government should do it alone. When you discover that somebody has a case in ICPC or EFCC or Code of Conduct Bureau and he’s occupying a position of trust, what do you do? Did you report?
“Let us always be honest. ICPC or EFCC are not populated with spirits. We are not spirits, actually. We said, if you see something, say something. That is what voice and participation is all about.
“When the government is appointing permanent secretaries and other public office holders they send their names to ICPC and we conduct due diligence on them to ensure that they are very clean and they don’t have any skeleton of their cupboard, so to that extent, we participate in ensuring that the round peg is placed in a round hole.
“But if you (citizens) come across any person with cases in ICPC or EFCC yet the person is given a position of trust, please, you all have to report to ICPC immediately. All you need to do is to access our website or various social media platforms and let us know.
“We (ICPC) don’t take kindly to any violation of the core values of the national ethics and integrity policy, especially integrity. Once you take bribes or you give out bribes of gratification, you have violated the core values of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy. It’s not only about punishment. We also have the reward regime to encourage those who uphold integrity,” Baba stated.
He noted that the Commission is working in synergy with other anti-corruption agencies to reduce corruption appreciably, reminding citizens that they are entitled to follow up on the progress of petitions they filed with ICPC rather than become passive or just complain.
Baba revealed that the teaching of integrity and ethics had been completely infused in primary and secondary schools and colleges of education in the country. He added that the Commission had gotten assurances on the further infusion of NEIP in the curriculum of public universities in Nigeria.
“ICPC is prioritizing value rejuvenation, resuscitation and behavioural change amongst Nigerians to reduce corruption using the National Ethics and Integrity Policy.”
He also added that ICPC had enjoyed the support and cooperation of the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari administration in implementing NEIP and expects the incoming administration to continue in the same vein.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.