A non-governmental organisation, known as the Corrupt Practices Eradication Organisation of Nigeria (COPEON), has called for attitudinal change among Nigerians as a panacea to corruption in the country.
The Director-General of the organisation, Mr Emmanuel Adeyanju, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday.
Adeyanju said the organisation had embarked on a campaign across the 774 local government councils in the country, advocating attitudinal change in people’s ways of doing things.
He said: “We noticed that there is corruption in every facet of human endeavour in this country.
“We believe we should not fold our arms and let this thing continue like that.
“We know that corruption cannot be totally eradicated. What we are trying to do is to reduce it to the barest minimum.”
Adeyanju said that through its advocacy programmes, the group had been persuading Nigerians not to joke with their integrity wherever they found themselves.
“This is because, if you lack integrity, you cannot go anywhere,” Adeyanju said.
He said that the organisation had a robust collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies in Nigeria.
He said that such collaboration became necessary because “government alone cannot fight corruption”.
He said that it is unrealistic to expect the three major anti-graft agencies in the country, with less than 10,000 personnel, to successfully fight corruption in a country of at least 200 million people.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to give COPEON full recognition, saying that the group was ready to partner with government and Nigerians in the anti-corruption war.
He said: “Nigeria has three major anti-graft agencies, the EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and Code of Conduct Bureau.
“If you put their staff together, including their cooks and drivers, they are not up to 10,000. So we believe that the government cannot do it alone.
“We are passionate Nigerians, who believe that things should not continue like this.
“That is why we came together to form COPEON to help Nigerians and federal government fight corruption in our own little way.
“We, therefore, need the assistance of government to give us full recognition.”
He said that the organisation had secured the approval of the Oyo Ministry of Education to establish anti-corruption clubs in all the secondary schools in the state.
He said that the organisation had also successfully organised the first-ever anti-corruption summit in the state, where it X-rayed some of the corrupt practices prevalent in the country.
He also recalled COPEON’s role in exposing the people involved in the celebrated “Ajumose bus saga”, which led to the sanctioning of some civil servants in the state.
He said that the affected workers were caught by some of COPEON’s members while trying to siphon diesel from a government-owned bus.
He promised that the organisation would continue to pursue the objectives for which it was established, in collaboration with relevant agencies in the anti-corruption fight.
NAN reports that COPEON was registered in 2017 with the objective to support governments’ efforts aimed at eradicating corruption in the country.