By: Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said it is poised to encourage non-violent revolution against corruption among youths and the citizenry through schools’ debates.
The chairman of the commission, Mr Nta Ekpo disclosed this in his welcome address to the North Central Zone, National Anti-corruption Debate among Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria, in Lokoja.
Ekpo explained that the main objective of the debate was to enable intellectual engagement of youths in proffering solutions to corruption in the country and as well encourage non-violent revolution against against the social vice menace.
The chairman who was represented by Mr Kingsley Obi, Assistant Director, Education in the commission, said the debate was also designed to engage youths actively in the anti-corruption crusade.
He said It was also expected to stimulate academic discourse capable of providing answers to issues of corruption from the perspective of the youth.
The ICPC chairman noted that the competition, expected to be held annually in the six geo-political zones of the country was in tandem with the commission’s policy of encouraging active youth participation in the crusade against corruption.
Ekpo added that ICPC recognised the fact that young people wielded tremendous influence and thus mobilise them not only to imbibe the culture of integrity, transparency and accountability but ensure their institutionalisation.
He however affirmed, ”The total institutionalisation of integrity, transparency and accountability in a society may be difficult to achieve because of the nature of man.
”Yet it is possible to build or evolve a society where the level of integrity, transparency and accountability would be very high.”
In his goodwill message, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education’ Mr M.K. Okpanachi represented by Mrs Comfort Mayaki said corruption had become a serious menace in the society.
He added that students could be corrupt-free if only they imbibed a corrupt-free life saying, ”Youare not here for social debate for prize but for life.”
The eight senior secondary schools drawn from the three senatorial districts of Kogi are expected to feature and speak on the debate topic: ”Corruption, an Impediment to Sustainable Development Goals.”