Nigeria fares miserably on all major corruption indicators, the latest of which is Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index rankings of 180 countries. Not only did Nigeria perform badly, it declined a few points despite the current anti-corruption mood in the country.
Since Nigeria returned to civil in 1999, the country has witnessed the rolling out of major anti-corruption measures including the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission. None of these efforts have however sufficed to check the worsening corruption problem in Nigeria.
We the People’s anti-corruption effort approaches the problem differently. It seeks to create an anti-corruption movement comprising mainly of young Nigerians who will actively participate in a series of actions aimed mostly at criminalizing corruption and shaming the corrupt. The intervention focuses on three key strategies- creating awareness about the problem of corruption in Nigeria, collaborating and pressuring responsible government agencies to perform their anti-corruption role, and mobilizing young people to speak up and take action against corruption.
According to a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics and the UNODC, 40% of bribes in Nigeria were paid by young people between the ages of 25 and 34. While this data indicates that young people are key perpetrators of corruption, it also shows that they are the highest sufferers of the phenomenon since they are the key bribe paying constituency. It follows therefore that if properly mobilized, they will likely be active in ending the scourge.
Already, the intervention has mobilized 24 youth organizations across the state that have been inducted into a training programme aimed at providing them the skills and tools to carry out campaigns against corruption. At an inception meeting held in Port Harcourt on the 13th of June 2018, each of the youth groups pledged to actively support the campaign in the state and beyond. In the coming weeks, We the People will expand the movement and roll out major strategic training programmes.