Tuesday 27 March 2018


The Yar'Adua Foundation (YDF) held a Town Hall Meeting on the 19th of March 2018 in Abuja. The theme was 'A spanner in the wheel of corruption'. I was one of the esteemed guests. The former guest of honour was the former Chairman, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. YDF promotes national unity, good governance and social justice by creating platforms to engage citizens, policy makers and stakeholders in national conversations that foster an inclusive and prosperous Nigeria. The programme was sponsored by the McArthur Foundation. I wish to commend the Foundation for being a stickler for time providing a really sumptuous buffet afterwards...

Ajorah Royal Theatre did not disappoint with their well rehearsed and good delivery of their lines in their stage performance of Ken Saro Wiwa's 'The Wheel' - a political satire that dramatically highlights the damaging effects of official corruption, failed campaign promises, bad governance and the need for ethical revolution. It tells the story of a politician who, upon winning election, demanded bribe that resulted in the corrupt practice gradually becoming institutionalised.

There were other film clips. One depicted how a child (Junior's) school fees was appropriated by his mother and diverted to trivial endeavours! The other clip highlighted how corruption starts among children very early in life. Two young children of the same parents become unfriendly when one 'caught' the other breaking a vase. The blackmail as a result of keeping this 'secret' did not end until the victim fell into semi-depression! These are two sordid examples of corruption perpetrated in the average home on a daily basis.

The stage play anf film clips were followed by a panel discussion:

*Mallam Nuhu Ribadu - Former Chair, EFCC & Special Guest of Honour
*Waziri Adio - Executive Secretary, NEITI (Government Representative)
*Prof. Umaru Pate - Bayero University, Kano (Citizens' Representative)
*Rosemary Otohwo - Senior Programme Officer, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (Media Representative)
*Isiaka Olagunju - General Secretary, Nigeria Bar Association (Judiciary Representative)
*Patrick Okigbo - Nextier Ltd. & Moderator

Some of the views canvassed are:

*We have come a long way in the anti-corruption fight. Nigeria is the only country in the world that has successfully repatriated stolen funds. Other measures in this direction are in the pipeline - e.g. Nigeria Financial Intelligence Bill (NFI) and the separation of the office of the Accountant General from the office of the Minister of Justice.

*We should keep an eye on the 3S's of corruption - Sanctions, Systems and Society.

*Our societal values predispose us to corruption. There is a bifurcation of morality - different standards in the public and private spaces. Citizens have a fractured relationship with the state, hence immorality is condemned mainly in the public domain.

*We should move from 'investigative reporting' to 'solution journalism' i.e. clinical anti-corruption reporting, behavioural change and humanising corruption stories.

*The more we engage in online monetary transactions, the more we eliminate face-to-face interaction. The latter fuels corruption.

*The ongoing reforms in the criminal justice system, which began in 2015, is a step in the right direction. The proposed digitalisation of the Judiciary is welcome. Kudos to Dr. Amina Salihu, Senior Programme Officer, McArthur Foundation, who said that because Nigerians are fed up with corruption and lack of accountability her Foundation would continue to programmes such as this...

On the whole, the visualisation of corruption through a stage play and two short film clips was refreshingly different! This method brought the issue of corruption home to the audience in a very  basic manner... 

Related Links

*How to fight money laundering   sas.com/sas/offers/20/fight-money-laundering-11120.html
*Nigeria: FEC approves N1.6b for e-Government Procurement to check corruption   bit.ly/31aGQ0P
*Corruption is the ultimate betrayal of public trust, even more damaging in times of crisis   un.org
*Private Eyes & the Anti-Corruption Crusade   newyorker.com
*SAS AML Software: Fight money laundering with these 5 game changers   go.sas.com/knea1b.../
*Infrastructure projects like roads & bridges tend to be large, long term and complex - all fertile ground for corruption: How can Companies cut the waste?   ow.ly/hm7750Bh2sW  #IMFBlog
*3 ways to fight corruption & restore trust in leadership    bit.ly/27rOZ34

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