The need for collaboration between civil society organizations and the media in the fight against corruption has once again been emphasized.
Chido Onumah, Coordinator of African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) made the call when he led a delegation from AFRICMIL on a courtesy visit to the management of The Daily Times newspaper in Abuja. Noting that corruption has a negative impact on society, he stated, “It is important that we in civil society and the media stand together to accelerate the anti-corruption campaign in our country.”
According to him, the purpose of the visit was to promote Corruption Anonymous, a project designed to raise awareness on the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The project, which is being implemented with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is aimed at encouraging active citizens’ involvement in the anti-corruption war through whistleblowing.
Onumah described whistleblowing as an important and effective policy deployed in many parts of the world to ensure accountability, adding, “Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of the gains of such a significant tool of corporate and public sector governance.”
Beyond taking its benefits to the citizens and drumming support for broad participation, Onumah said the project would ensure the integrity of the process through a proper scrutiny of the actions of the administrators of the policy domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance, as well as the safety and protection of whistleblowers. “We take the issue of safety and protection of whistleblowers very seriously. Whistleblowers like Ntia Thompson and Murtala Ibrahim in government offices are currently being victimized. There is no justification for this and it has to stop going forward.”
Responding, Tony Amokeodo, Editor of The Daily Times, said the newspaper would play a significant role in strengthening whistleblowing and the anti-corruption war. He urged AFRICMIL to count on the management of the newspaper to “do the needful by making sure we stay on the story of whistleblowing.”