Abuja – Mrs Gloria Shoda, President, National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), has said that pressure from women push men into acts of corruption.
She made the statement on Wednesday in Abuja at the launch of the Nigerian Women Against Corruption (WAC) Project organised by the EFCC in collaboration with the Office of the Wife of the President.
She disagreed with the popular belief that women are not corrupt, saying it was pressures mounted by women that push the men into acts of corruption.
Shoda said: “they say women are not corrupt, but I have a different opinion. Corruption starts at home, and women are the people that make the men corrupt.
“You sow the seed of corruption by pressuring your husband for “aso-ebi’’, comparing him to others, and hiding to bribe your children with money.
“You drive corruption by buying cars for your female children attending universities, and by marching to the police station to report teachers for cautioning your children in school.
“Those of you who are traders, short-change your customers by manipulating the measures you use in selling rice and `garri;’ is that not corruption?
“You go to your husband’s pocket when he is asleep and steal some money; is that not corruption?’’
The NCWS president said women could help their husbands stop corruption by questioning the sources of their money when they begin to live above their means.
Shoda added that corruption could be stopped in schools when lost values were restored, and when women allowed their children to study for their examinations.
While noting that corruption was rampant in institutions of learning, she advised women to regularly visit their children in school to know how they lived outside the home.
She also advised women to reduce their flamboyant lifestyles and learn to live within their means.
The guest speaker and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Mukhtar, concurred with the views expressed by Shoda.
In a paper titled, “Women: The Missing Link in the Fight Against Corruption,’’ Mukhtar said that women were not completely blameless in the unfortunate corruptuion situation in the country.
She said; “In keeping with the Joneses, women contribute to corruption by pressurising their husbands to live above their means.
“Men in order to please and satisfy their spouses bow and succumb to corrupt practices.
“Women should be contented and refrain from leading the men to yield to the temptation of corruption,’’ she said.
To guard against such occurrences, the former CJN called for economic and political empowerment of women for them to be self-reliant.
Encouraging women’s participation in commercial activities, Mukhtar declared, was critrical to curb the penchant to pushing the men into seeking favours with corruptive tendencies.
“In this wise, women should be assisted by financial institutions in the form of soft loans and expert advice to start small scale businesses.
“This will definitely alleviate the sufferings of not only the women, but their families. The government should encourage self-reliance.
“Activities such as farming are no longer men’s preserve as it was known to be in some parts of the country.
“Women have been participating immensely and this has contributed to the economic development of the country. They are also now into mechanised farming,’’ Mukhtar said.
A former Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri, said that the war against corruption required collective effort, as the commission and the Presidency could not do it alone.
Waziri said that nobody is safe with corruption, adding that nations fail when money meant for development is channeled into private pockets.
“Corruption makes countries become banana republics, leading to dissatisfaction and misery that result in terrorism and anarchy because people are robbed of basic necessities of life.
“When our monies are taken to save havens abroad it becomes so difficult to recover them, and that is why other countries spend so much to prevent these monies from going out.
“We have seen Nigeria at its worst. Today, there is recession, it has never been like this because monies were taken away into private pockets,’’ she said.
The former EFCC boss questioned the sanity of corrupt Nigerians who buy houses in different parts of the world, but end up putting up in hotels whenever they visit those countries.
She reiterated her call for psychiatric examinations to be conducted on individuals before they are elected or appointed into public office.
Waziri commended the EFCC for engaging women in the fight against corruption, noting that by deploying women, the commission was employing the most influential people in the society.