Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Worried by the endemic corruption in the country, ActionAid Nigeria has charged journalists to join forces with other anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption, social justice and poverty.
ActionAid, a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all, said the training was aimed at ensuring that the media as the fourth estate of the realm properly used it power to influence the fight against corruption, social justice and poverty in the country positively.
The movement’s Director of Organisational Effectiveness, Mrs. Funmilayo Oyefusi said this at a-two day Journalist Against Poverty 2018 Retreat held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
At a retreat with a theme, Anti-Corruption and Social Justice, Oyefusi said that Action Aid Nigeria is partnering with journalists to create awareness on the real situation on ground.
She explained the centrality of the media to the fight against corruption and poverty, thereby stressing the need for the journalists to write compelling story that would force duty bearer or those in authority to take action.
Oyefusi said ActionAid theory of change was premised on empowering citizens especially youth, women and girls while also building accountability mechanisms.
According to her, this will no doubt lead to enhanced peoples’ power in inclusive governance, improved quality of life for girls and women, while also achieving social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication.
Also at the retreat, a visiting journalism lecturer, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Mr. Ibanga Isine said that the media is critical in promoting good governance, human rights and socio-economic development of society.
Presenting a paper on “Corruption in Nigeria: The Roles of the Media in the Anti-Corruption Fight,” Isine said the media not only raised public awareness about issues affecting the people and society, but also pushed for some punishment or remedies.
According to him, corruption threatens sustainable economic development, which values and justice, while it also destabilises society and endangers the rule of law.
He said corruption “has been damaging Nigeria’s perception among the comity of nations. It has also created obstacles to international investment flows to the stock market, global competitiveness and economic growth. It has distorted the country’s socio-economic development”
Consequently, he observed that journalists could curb corruption by identifying flaws or weaknesses in laws and regulations that create a climate favourable to corruption, adding that authorities would be forced to change, or consider changing those laws and regulations.