On the occasion of the launch of “Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale”, a host of Nigerian entertainment industry giants of the likes of Sasha P, Basketmouth and Dakore Akande joined renown anti-corruption activists, social entrepreneurs, journalists and scholars, including Soji Apampa, Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe, Professor Femi Osofisan, Carolyn Seaman, Rev. Fr. George Ehusani and Laila Johnson-Salami, in a discussion moderated by TV anchor Maupe Ogun.
The short animated movie summarizes the key findings of the 2nd Corruption in Nigeria Survey report in a format more attractive for broader national audience. Aligning with the objectives of UNODC’s Education for Justice initiative, the film seeks to engage in particular younger people in the anti-corruption dialogue and to provide Ministries of Education and teachers another tool to teach children and youths about rule of law related topics.
UN Resident Coordinator Edward Kallon in his opening remarks stressed: “We need the power and innovation of youth; we need your strength and ability to not accept the status quo, if we want to tackle the immense challenges we are facing as a global community.
In his remarks, the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, said “This film is a huge step forward in helping people see and understand the value and tangibility of data being produced in the country. Also, the animated nature of the movie makes it especially appealing to the younger demography, thereby helping to ignite their interest in data, and in the wider campaign against corruption in Nigeria.”
Playwright and scholar, Professor Femi Osofisan welcomed the animation film and noted the need for more such educational tools using real live examples of corruption incidents and their impact on people.
Award-winning screen and stage actor, Dakore Akande, stressed the power of film in reinforcing values and hereby changing the narrative of corruption in Nigeria. In order to reach a broader national audience, she proposed to translate the film in other national languages, including pidgin.
Suggesting the use of the film by teachers, Anthonia Yetunde Alabi (Sasha P), added “that ethics education needs to start from primary and secondary schools.”
Lawyer and writer, Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe, highlighted the need to convince citizens to embrace due diligence when accessing public services and to shun a culture of the cutting corners.
While welcoming the film, CEO of Integrity Organisation, Soji Apampa, stated “many young people are at the border in which they can take to anger and frustration because of the current situation”. He pointed out that anticorruption process needs a multiplicity of action and called for more collective actions from ordinary actors in modelling a change further stating “We really need to work on the undecided and those who won’t pay bribes to affect their beliefs and attitudes and allow the law enforcement to go after the 30% who will definitely pay”.
The film, inter-alia, depicted some of the stark differences between the experiences of women and men when it comes to corruption. Reacting to these findings, Carolyn Seaman, Founder of Girls Voices Initiative, underscored the need for gender mainstreaming in tackling corruption in Nigeria. She remarked: “We need to strengthen advocacy for women empowerment; putting women in position of power and influence where they can actually promote those ideals that are best for our society.”
While expressing his dismay about the lack of patriotism, even among high level public officials, Rev. Fr. George Ehusani, said he remained hopeful due to the existence here and there of islands of sanity amidst the sea of corruption in Nigeria.
UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, in his closing remarks reminded the audience “We will not talk corruption away. We will need to get engaged. We will need to act if we want to put an end to this corruption wahala so that we can create the Nigeria we want and the Nigeria you deserve!”.
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