For the fight against corruption to succeed in Nigeria, the media should play a very strategic role of character moulding and engendering a reformative culture in the citizenry, rather than pre-empting the courts.
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who made the plea, also said the anti-corruption war of the federal government will be more effective if it is free from all social, religious and political persuasions.
In his remark at a one-day anti corruption summit in Delta State held in Asaba, with the theme "Transparenacy and accountability: Institutionalisation of good governance for sustainable development", Governor Okowa said, "The press must be seen and carried along as strategic partners in moulding the character of our people in a reformative manner, rather than being used to blackmail or defame persons ahead of decisions by competent courts.
"In the pursuit of our anti-corruption agenda, greater success will be recorded if our actions and practices are blind to all social, religious and political persuasions; our actions must be civil and be such that engineers public confidence and participation if the battle is to be won", the governor stated.
He stressed, “Advocacy in partnership with civil society, public service, the organized private sector, opinion leaders and traditional institutions, is a sure path to success.”
Senator Okowa called for the restructuring of the value system and for Nigerians to cultivate and imbibe the culture of selflessness in rendering services, especially in public offices, adding that the citizen should learn to service and avoid the path of feeding our greed.
He observed that corruption is one of the most recurring discourses in our national life, because, virtually every Nigerian agrees that it undermines the fabric of every aspect of society.
"Over the years, it has constituted a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, including development programmes aimed at tackling poverty and economic backwardness.
“The fight against corruption is not an easy task. But it can be won through advocacy such as this one that aims at drastic reduction and where possible, total elimination of the practices in every facet of our national life, today, our anti-corruption agencies, namely, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal, are in the forefront of the fight against corruption,” the governor said.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Isaac Ezechi commended the Delta State government for organising the summit, stating that the federal government was encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by Nigerians in the fight against corruption.
Chairman of ICPC, Barr. Ekpo Nta in a keynote address warned corrupt Nigerians to be ready to face the consequences of their actions, stating, “if you are to be corrupt, be ready to pay the price as the law will take its course”, adding that preventive measures were the best ways to stop corruption.