– The groups were led by Say No Campaign Nigeria to commemorate the International Day of Anti-Corruption
– Nigerians were urged to rise up and ensure that they say no to corruption Civil Society Organisations led by Say No Campaign on Thursday, December 6 staged a rally in Abuja to commemorate the 2018 World Anti-Corruption Day with the theme: Every No Counts.
The CSOs say they are staging the walk to educate Nigerians on the ills of corruption and to strengthen their resolve to say no to the menace of corruption in Nigeria. Legit.ng observed that dozens of youths, students, and young professionals were part of the walk which started from the Unity Fountain and ended at the Federal Secretariat.
Say No Campaign leads march against corruption to commemorate 2018 International Day of Anti-Corruption Leaders of Say No Campaign and other CSOs at the rally. Source: Facebook Speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the rally, the convener of Say No Campaign, Ezenwa Nwagwu, urged Nigerians to rise up and ensure that they say no to corruption.
“We are joining the world today to mark this day, even though we know that our institutions are rife with corruption, but to ensure that the ‘No’ of citizens count, and that is why the United Nations decided that the theme of this year will be ‘Every No Counts’ “It is not the ‘No’ of the president alone that counts, it is not the ‘No’ of a governor that counts, it is not the ‘No’ of a senator that counts, it is not the ‘No’ of a religious leader that counts, it is not the ‘No’ of an economic leader that counts.
It is the no of every citizen and the world is saying that if we understand the consequences of corruption, that collectively, all of us will work together to ensure that it goes right. “The leaders of the country do not feel the pains of the citizens.
When you talk about hunger, those who live in the villa, members of the National Assembly, governors do not know what hunger is, the resources that is meant to feed the citizens, get into private pockets. It is those citizens that bear the consequences of this hunger that should rise up and ensure that they say no.”
Also speaking, the co-convener of Say No Campaign, Jaiye Gaskia, said: “This event is to raise awareness both about the menace of corruption and also what citizens can do corruption. It is one of the events that we are putting together to commemorate the world anti-corruption day which is on December 9. “So, we are doing a series of activities for a week to raise awareness.
This year’s theme is Every No Counts and implicit in that theme is that every citizen needs to play a role in fighting corruption. “If you look at our country for example, we have been fighting corruption for decades now and we know that every successive government have fought corruption. But they have fought corruption where it is people in the opposition that are corrupt, when it is not people that are affiliated to them. “So, the only way we can ensure that corruption is fought holistically is if citizens take a stand and ensure that we first, hold our government accountable, make sure every government fights corruption in an impartial way.
“Secondly, each one of us too should abhor the culture of impatience. It is the culture of impatience that enables us to be susceptible to corruption. We should be patient to follow processes and due processes. “And we must also hold government accountable to provide services, because it is when public services fail, that you create room for corruption. It is when poverty rises, when unemployment rises, when you have a huge gap between the poor and the rich, that is when you create the enabling environment for corruption to thrive.”
On his part, Hamzat Lawal, the founder of Follow The Money, said: “Today, we have mobilized young people and other civil society actors to join our voices on amplifying that every no actually counts. “Nigeria is a blessed country, but today we seem like a cursed country. We have all the natural resources, we have all the wealth that we can be proud of. But today, children are out of school. Today, women that are pregnant give birth and they will die.
Today, we have high rate of infant mortality. “But, we are also saying let us celebrate the few things that have happened. There are a couple of people that have said no to corruption. I believe that if we continue amplifying those people and the good work they do, hopefully, someday, corruption will be history and for us, we believe that as we go into the 2019 elections, that election is about a corrupt free Nigeria, where people will say no to vote buying and vote selling, where people will vote their conscience. “We know that you can buy competence, you can buy capacity, but you can not buy credibility. And for us as citizens, we are saying that every no actually counts. Someday in the future, we will have a hall of fame where will put people’s name that have done greatness to ensure that we have a corrupt free Nigeria. That is why we are driving this change that we want to see.”