Seeking the way forward in the fight against corruption and insecurity dominated the discussion at a one day conference organized by Scroll Report Online paper, in Sheraton Ikeja, Lagos on August 29. All the speakers including security experts called for a collective effort in tackling insecurity and Corruption, which are the greatest hindrances to the development of Nigeria.
The first guest speaker, Wahab Shittu, a Lawyer and Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission set the tone for the conference by saying during his presentation that “insecurity threatens our collective freedom, security and national development. We have been labelled a terrorist country. Wahab also called for a collective effort in tackling corruption and insecurity, “Fighting insecurity and corruption is a collective effort and not the responsibility of government alone. It should be collectively tackled.” he said
Fatai Owoseni former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Benue states now Special Adviser on Security to Oyo State Government, agreed with Shittu. He said “Everyone should be involved in the fight against corruption and Insecurity. The Media and Civil Societies must serve selflessly to the fight against corruption and insecurity. The media has the power to change things. The media and civil societies should drive the change to fight corruption through passion and selflessness.”
Representative of the Inspector General of Police Oqua Effiom Etim, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Lagos, State, in his good will message recommended that the fight against corruption should begin at the home front so the society will be a better place. His recommendation was also emphasized by Frank Odita, retired commissioner of police and former Force Public Relations Officer, he said “The family which is the basic unit of society has a role to play. The fight against corruption and insecurity should start with the family.”
Toun Okewale Managing Director, WFM 91.7 Women Radio, identified corruption and insecurity as Nigeria’s biggest challenges that eats away available resources meant for development and impact is more on women. Bolanle Sarumi Aliyu, former Governorship candidate, Oyo State, voiced out against corruption by saying that “We celebrate criminals in Nigeria and we can only fight corruption if we do not vote people with shady characters into government”
Martins Oloja, Chairman Editorial Board of The Guardian Newspaper spoke on the effect of corruption and insecurity on the media. He said corruption and insecurity has made the nation miss out on so many opportunities in advancing further.
Ahmed Ojikutu, President of Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) recommended the nationwide deployment of covert gun detection technology and CCTV as a way to curb insecurity and corruption in Nigeria. According to him some police men went to China where they were taught how to use digital camera that could expose vehicles loaded with explosive devices and guns from far distances. Unfortunately, the policemen came back but were unable to practice what they were taught, because the equipment for such crime prevention and detection are not available in Nigeria.
Presentations were also made by Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Head of department, Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Agatha Amata, Anchor Inside Out T.V Programme and Managing Director Rave Television and Radio, Martins Oloja, Chairman Editorial Board Guardian Newspaper, Segun Jedege, Lawyer and former United Nations International Prosecutor, Kenny St Brown, and religious leader Sat Guru Maharaji.
Apart from the guest speakers some dignitaries also graced the occasion. Among them were Waheed Olagunju, former acting Managing Director Bank of Industry, Saidi Popoola, member of Kwara House of Assembly, Soji Olagunju, Founder Lumem Christi Televison, Dr. Rabiu Oladipo, Founder & Chief Medical Director R.Jolad Hospital, Toro Oladapo, President National Association of Women Journalist, Dr. Kola Thomas, Former Oyo State Commissioner of Education and Yemisi Fadairo Special Adviser on Media to Jigawa and Ogun State Governors, Yewande Iwoha, General Manager, Ray Power FM and members of Media Women Forum.
Janet Mba Afolabi, Publisher of Scroll Report and the organizer of conference said the theme “fighting corruption and insecurity was chosen because they are major challenges facing the country. We need to seek the way forward in overcoming them”