Worried by the level of corruption in the country, the Inter-Religious Coalition Against Corruption in Nigeria, ICACN, has organized another symposium for religious groups, traditional and community based organizations on anti-corruption and accountability in Port Harcourt.
The seminar which was held at the Tokyu Grand Hotel, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, is part of activities of ICACN, aimed at promoting anti-corruption and accountability through behavioural change approach.
ICACN believes that parents, religious leaders, traditional and community based organizations, as well as citizens have various roles to play in the fight to eliminate corruption in Nigeria.
The project which is supported by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was birthed around 2018, running across the South-South, South-West and North Central.
Speaking with TNN in an exclusive interview, ICACN Co-Coordinator, Bishop Emmah Isong, who is also the national publicity secretary of PFN explained that the aim of the program was to “join hands with government in fighting corruption using interfaith platforms, using faith based platforms.
“That means government has been fighting corruption by simply instituting the EFCC, ICPC and all those bureau. But now, we passing the messages through preaching, through the scriptures by using clergymen on all religious platforms.”
Reacting to the achievement ICACN has made so far in her quest to eliminate corruption since 2018, the bishop said “much to be done but never as it used to be, no more business as usual.
“We’ve given voice of expression to preachers, and to organizations to speak against corruption, we’ve strengthened government organizations and partnered with them.
“We just started a partnership with ICPC last week where they launched the NEIP, that is the National Ethics and Integrity Policy. We are also partnering with other faith based organizations to give voice especially against corrupt practices, including electoral malpractices.”
Expressing excitement that ICACN exceeded the hundred per cent target envisaged in terms of turnout of participants, Isong said “the participants today are first of all charged to practice fighting corruption themselves and secondly to become agents of change in different organizations and associations and their own nomenclature, market place.
“The participants themselves were the major contributors to today’s conference, they were even the ones suggesting and proposing measures of fighting corruption, including patriotism which is a major pillar in their national integrity and ethics policy of the federal government. Using the social media to dissuade Nigerians from castigating their own nation, Nigerians should learn to speak good of their nation.”
Speaking on ICACN mandate, co-coordinator, Imam Shefiu AbdulKareem Majemu said “we all know that religion is very important in the lives of the people and it’s about value change and most importantly it’s an agent of behavioural change because our religions teachings and guidelines are basically to change our ways of life for us to attain a new live.
“Considering this very important aspect of religion, the MacArthur Foundation decided to leverage on these very important teachings of religion and to change behaviour and attitude as regards corruption in Nigeria and basically to promote anti-corruption activities,” he said.