By Ikenna Nwokedi
The essence of Whistleblowing geared towards checkmating corrupt practices and related offences has been emphasized by the African Centre for Media and Information Literary (AFRICMIL).
The emphasis was made during one-day Stepdown training/meeting on strengthening the capacity of stakeholders on whistleblowing held in Awka.
The Senior Programme Officer, AFRICMIL, Mr Godwin Onyeacholem, stated that the essence of the programme is to build in people confidence in reporting corruption through whistleblowing which is done through raising awareness, helping people who are managing the whistleblowing policy to be honest with the way they manage it and trying as much as possible in protection of people who report corruption as not to be victimized.
Mr Onyeacholem, who also represented the Coordinator of AFRICMIL, Dr. Chido Onumah, opined that the citizens are at the forefront of the fight against corruption and encourage citizens of the country to report to the appropriate quarters such as the civil society dividen platform.
He also disclosed that the training supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was part of the AFRICMIL programme that focused on media, information, research, advocacy and training, with a view to enhance democracy, good governance, promotion of accountability and orderly society.
“As we all are aware, combating corruption through early detection and exposure of mismanagement, bribery, fraud, theft of public funds and other illicit acts is an effective strategy in the fight against corruption”,
“Whistleblowing has proven to be the most direct method of exposing corrupt acts. We want to ensure that people across communities are aware,” Onyeacholem said.
In his reaction, a Development Expert and Chairman, Anambra State Civil Society Network, Prince Chris Azor stated that combating corruption through early detection and exposure of mismanagement, bribery, fraud and other illicit acts is an effective strategy in the fight against corruption.
Mr Azor emphasized that whistleblowing undoubtedly is the most appropriate method of exposing corrupt acts. He also said that the fight against corruption is a collective effort of all and sundry towards the growth and development of the Nigerian Society.
Also speaking, the Chairman, National Peace Building and Conflict Prevention for Rotary International Nigeria, Dr. Dennis Ekemezie, used the role of a football referee to illustrate whistleblowing.
Dr Ekemezie stated that whistleblowers should be smart, intelligent and viligant in the act of Whistleblowing, he said that persuasive communication and use of strategic plan should be applied in achieving results.
He enjoined whistleblowers to be patient once they report issues concerning corruption as stakeholders in the fight against corruption such as Civil Society, EFCC, ICPC, National Intelligence, DSS and the Police Force usually carry out independent investigation, collate the report and come up with the required results.
Highpoints of the occasion was a short video clip on reporting corruption and engaging in the act of Whistleblowing as well as interactive session with the attendees on pertinent issues bothering on corruption, whistleblowing and citizen engagement.