Group enlists Nollywood into war against corruption

Posted by News Express | 1 March 2017 | 2,474 times

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•CACVC National Co-ordinator, Comrade Harris Chuma.

 

The Nigerian movie industry popularly known as Nollywood has been enlisted Nollywood into the war against corruption by the Citizen Anti Corruption Volunteers Corp (CACVC).

National Co-ordinator of CACVC, Comrade Eze Harris Chuma, disclosed this in his welcome address during the Annual Anti-Corruption Awareness and Sensitisation Programme held recently at Zanzibar Conference Hall, Asaba, Delta State. He described the 2017 edition of the programme as quite unique in that CACVC and other notable NGOS against corruption have synergised to take the anti corruption war to a whole new level. 

Comrade Chuma, who is also a politician and a contender for the Anambra State governorship, said: “We have elected to involve the Nigerian creative community popularly known as Nollywood in the campaign. We have established a constituent unit within Nollywood now referred to as Nollywood Against Corruption Initiative (NACI). This group of patriotic Nigerians will be empowered and consequently deployed to use their film works to mobilise the citizenry in the ongoing anti graft war. To this end, we have called for anti-corruption advocacy movie scripts from interested artistes, producers and directors.

“We shall be sponsoring short films written by the interested members of Nollywood Against Corruption Initiative. Suffice it to mention that henceforth our organisation will be engaging the creative community in scouting for sponsors and providing funds for anti-corruption related movie productions.  Soon, we shall establish an anti-corruption film festival in Nigeria. A platform designed to screen film works bordering on corruption via large screen, awards of creative excellence will be part of the festival.”

Chuma also disclosed that the day was set aside to raise awareness about the impact of corruption upon the society. He pointed out that “We are here to mobilise all and sundry to own this fight. It is our primary duty as an anti graft NGO to increase citizens’ awareness of corruption, including the magnitude of the problem, and educating citizens about corruption prevention, detection, and reporting techniques, this we strongly believe is critical for reducing the incidence of corruption against and within the government at all levels.

“Our mandate therefore, is to campaign effortlessly in creating awareness and sensitizing the general public on the ugly effects of corruption and provide them with corruption information. We have remained resilient as societal watchdogs craving for excellence, transparency, accountability, and proven integrity amongst public office holders, people who are entrusted with public funds.

“The quest for a society free from corruption and bribery has been our prerogative. And the urgency of now demands all hands on deck to launch frontal attack on corruption. We are hopeful that this event will continue to serve as a veritable platform to advocate public education and mass dissemination of information on corruption.”

Comrade Chuma also recalled that “recently, the revelations of corruption are shocking, confirming that the magnitude of corruption is greater than often perceived and frustrating to Nigerians who are baffled that despite serial exposure of industrial scale looting, no single high profile person has been convicted since this government took office 21 months ago. From the almost $10 million found with a former oil sector executive, to the N42 billion found in a bogus bank account, to the over $150 million and multi-billion naira properties owned by a former minister, the scale of the corruption beggars belief and provokes anger at the faltering assault on graft. Muhammadu Buhari should urgently revamp and re-strategise or see his presidency suffer ignominious defeat in the hands of corruption.

He said: “The recent cases are typical. Reports said $153 million and several properties were allegedly illegally acquired by a former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Shortly after, 62 houses were traced to a public official, coming just after 47 mint-new cars were recovered from another. Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said $136.67 million was found in an account with a fake identity; N7 billion and $15 million from someone and N1 billion from another.

“In Kaduna, the discovery of $9.7 million and £74,000 cash stashed in a nondescript house allegedly owned by Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, provoked much anger among residents of the impoverished neighbourhood. Meanwhile, there are ongoing trials arising from the $2.1 billion arms fund shared among politicians; trials for massive looting at NIMASA; shared among politicians; trials for massive looting at NIMASA; trials of about 17 ex-governors, and of some judges, including two from the Supreme Court.

“Corruption, according to the UNDP, undermines development, ‘steals resources and opportunities to improve their lives from the most vulnerable and hinders economic development’. No wonder that despite earning about $300 billion from crude oil in the five years to 2014, according to a former top official of the NNPC, Tim Okon, 64 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, said a United Nations September 2016 report, down from 51.6 per cent in 2004 as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Many Nigerians, including the educated and economists, who ought to know better, gloss over the central role corruption played in the current recession. We should continue to remind ourselves of the great disservice previous administrations, especially the lootocracy presided over by Goodluck Jonathan, did to Nigeria.

“When the government, the legislature and the courts cannot be relied upon, it is the people that can rescue themselves from the tyranny of corruption. Nigerians should closely follow unfolding events in Romania, South Korea and Brazil where, unlike here where the convicted felon, James Ibori, is feted and celebrated, people are angry and marching peacefully on the streets to shape policy against graft. Public protests forced out President Park Geun-hye in South Korea, compelled the repeal of a pro-corruption law in Romania and influenced the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, proving that, indeed, power ultimately belongs to the people.”

CACVC called on Nigerians to take the fight against corruption seriously by exercising the inherent power deposited in them as a people. “We maintain that more efforts should be made towards engaging social media platforms in reporting incidents of corruption in governments. We should work to identify and expose corruption using this veritable medium.

“It is our pleasure to announce that at the end of this conference, we would have empowered individuals, organisations and youths here present with a specialised training on how to deploy social media to fight corruption vis-a-vis data gathering, verification, petitions and mass advocacy. This we earnestly believe will engage internet savvy citizens to own the fight against corruption in Nigeria.”


Source: News Express

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