Taking the Campaigning Against Corruption to the Grassroots
On the 9th of December 2017, over 100 volunteers of We the People’s anti-corruption campaign stormed the popular Mile 3 Motor Park and market in Port Harcourt in a mass rally to call attention to the problem of corruption in Nigeria, and also recruit volunteers to its growing anti-corruption and public accountability movement. The rally also served to mark the international anti-corruption day.
It is well known in Nigeria that one of the most significant challenges mitigating against the progress of the country is corruption. The stealing of public funds by persons entrusted with public offices and other forms of mismanagement of public resources has unfortunately become a key reference point when Nigeria is in the conversation. By some modest estimates, up to 40% of public revenues end in the private accounts of less than 1% of Nigerians who are linked to the structures of political power. In the Niger Delta region where most petroleum exploitation takes place, widespread corruption has ensured that most residents in the urban areas and rural communities live in poverty and misery. Countrywide, about 70% of Nigerians live in poverty, as a result of corruption. Consistently on global corruption index, Nigeria ranks as one of the most corrupt countries on earth. The cost of corruption reflects in public institutions that cannot deliver services, dwindling standards of education, international disrepute and embarrassing beggarliness.
Through series of surveys and studies, We the People has arrives at the conclusion that the most effective way to combat corruption is to mobilize citizens at the grassroots who are most affected by the consequences of a corrupt society. We the People has evolved a system of mobilizing citizens into its ant-corruption movement through a simple ‘Yes’ SMS to a dedicated number. So far, thousands of citizens have joined the movement and are taking actions against corruption using their mobile devices.