By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
Beside the crisis of insecurity threatening the people of the country in different geopolitical zones of the country, corruption has been another cancer hindering its socio-economic and political development.
Notwithstanding the attention and efforts of successive governments, international organizations and other stakeholders in dealing with the menace, it appears to be resisting and persisting.
With this development therefore, all hands, irrespective of position and status, must be on deck to aggressively stop the menace from destroying the country.
Against this backdrop, there is a school of thought which is of the opinion that certain vital institutions, professional bodies and organisations are doing less than what is expected of them in the war against corrupt practices in the country.
This school is of the view that media men and women and members of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), as opinion molders and builders, are expected to be in forefront in the war against the menace.
But unfortunately, the reverse is almost the case in the country.
Baring his mind on how the media and CSOs have contributed to the phenomenon of corruption in the country, the Executive Director of the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Mr. Dayo Aiyetan has corroborated this argument as he noted that as the menace still persists in the country, media and the civil society groups are not doing enough on the fight against it.
Mr. Aiyetan, who was making this observation during a round table meeting with journalists and members of CSOs in Kano State recently, urged the media and the groups to live up to expectation in discharging their responsibilities around corruption crusade.
He said: “A lot is expected from the CSOs and the media to discourage people from partaking in corruptions.” According to him, impunity always aid corrupt practices among the citizens of the nation, reiterating that it should be discouraged in its entire ramification. “Because of impunity, people commit corrupt practices and go scot free.
Under this circumstance therefore, corruption may likely continue. “Not a single media house is doing enough in fighting corruption in the country,” the Executive Director lamented.
He called for synergy between the media and the civil society groups in order to achieve the desired objective of making the country free from such cankerworms which he said always scuttle its progress.
It was stressed during the meeting that the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the Civil Society Forum should coordinate how CSOs and the media could synergise efforts towards achieving the desired goals.
The event, held on Saturday at Tahir Guest Palace in the metropolitan Kano, was intended to strengthen relationship between media and the CSOs.
Activities at the occasion were coordinated by the Executive Director of the center (supported by the MacArthur Foundation), Mr. Aiyetan and its Senior Programme Officer, Madam Gloria Agema.
It was attended by journalists from within the various print and broadcast media organizations in the state alongside members of the CSOs. In their presentations, both the Executive Director and the Programme Officer highlighted on the achievements so far recorded by the center in promoting good governance and entrenching democratic values in the country.
Mr. Aiyetan gave a welcome remark and spoke on the ‘Role of the Media in Promoting Good Governance and the Need for Synergy between the Media and CSOs,’ while Madam Agema led a discussion around activating collaboration to amplify corruption stories.
The center was established in 2010 to promote good governance and entrench democratic values by reporting, exposing and combating corruption in its mission.
It is an independent nonprofit news agency that seeks to promote transparency and accountability through robust and objective reporting.