The Country Director of ActionAid International, Ene Obi has urged Nigerians to stand up against corruption and demand for accountability in governance.
Obi made the call during the organisation’s Accountability Discourse Series, held in Abuja on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event focused on implementation and compliance with the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act in the country.
The discourse, tagged ‘Upright for Nigeria, stand against corruption’, was to encourage citizens to be accountable in discharging their responsibilities to the nation and also challenge corrupt officials using the FoI instruments.
“We know that Nigerians have the capacity to change and become good citizens by requesting for transparency and accountability,” she said.
She said the Freedom of Information Act applies to all, urging the participants to collectively struggle to ensure full compliance with the FOI law by all segments of the society.
Obi stressed that ActionAid would continue to focus its campaigns in upholding values of honesty, integrity transparency and accountability.
She also spoke on the controversial hate speech bill before the National Assembly, saying the provision of the death penalty for offenders as contained in the bill should rather apply to corrupt public officers.
The country director backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign against corruption, saying it was necessary in ensuring speedy development of the country.
She called for the declaration of a state of emergency on the state of roads in the country, to fast track their reconstruction and rehabilitation.
NAN reports that the discourse, anchored by Gbenga Orulegba of AIT, had Mr Lanre Arogundade, Director International Press Centre and Mrs Ann Iyonu, Development Consultant, Open Government Partnership, among the panellists.
They called for more awareness on the importance of the FoI Act and how citizens could utilize it to ensure accountability in governance.
The panel said it was important for states to domesticate the FOI act, stressing that compliance with the FOI Act will reduce abuse of power by people in authority.
They agreed that the judiciary has a crucial role to play in ensuring that MDAs and all public officers comply with the law.
NAN reports that the event was attended by NGOs, CSOs, government officials and the media.