By Angela Atabo
A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) known as the Say No Campaign on Thursday called on Nigerians to “own” the fight against corruption ensure better service delivery and sustainable development in the country.
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, one of the Conveners of the groups, at a rally to mark the 2018 Anti-corruption Day celebration in Abuja said it was time for a collective fight against corruption in Nigeria.
According to Nwagwu, this year’s theme is “Every No Counts’’ – meaning that it is not only the No of the President that should count nor that of people in leadership but the No of every citizen.
“The duty for us as citizens is to continue to say no to corruption, democracy does not envisage that one man will fight corruption.
“Democracy means that the legislature, judiciary, executive and the citizens will collectively join hands to say no to corruption; so, today we call on all Nigerians to join the world to ensure that corruption is fought.
Mr Jaiye Gaskiya, another convener, said that the group was hosting series of activities for one week to mark the anti-corruption day with the aim of overhauling the notion of anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.
Gaskiya said that every government had been fighting corruption but that the only way to ensure that corruption was fought holistically was for citizens to take a stand.
This, he said, was by holding government accountable to an intense and impartial fight against corruption without sparing anybody.
He added that another way to fight corruption was for Nigerians to abhor the culture of corruption and that of impatience that caused them to be susceptible to corruption by “cutting corners”.
Gaskiya urged citizens to hold government accountable to provide services to the people because it was when public services failed that room would be created for corruption.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, a member of the groups, urged Nigerians to ensure a corrupt-free election in 2019 by saying no to vote buying and selling and voting their conscience.
Another member, Mr Uchenna Arisuku, called on the National Assembly to pass the anti-corruption bills such as the Proceeds of Crime bill, into law to strengthen the fight against anti-corruption.
Arisuku said that this would go a long way in curbing corruption in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for this year’s Anti-corruption Day to be celebrated on Dec. 9 is ‘‘Every No Counts’’.