The wife of the Lagos State governor, Bolanle Ambode, has appealed to Nigerian women to shun any act or behaviour that is capable of aiding corruption.

She also tasked women, particularly in the South West to take a stand against corruption.

Speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the Women Against Corruption (WAC) in the South-west at the Haven Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, she said women were strategically positioned  in view of the their roles  as moulders of characters and behaviours.

The Lagos State First Lady, who was the host of the WAC project rollout, added that women must begin to pay proper attention to their homes and ensure that their children were given the right upbringing based on the values of honestly, integrity, trust, fear of God and dignity of labour.

‘‘The cause and effects of corruption are very clear to everyone. It has been identified as one of the major factors responsible for the current state of the economy.

‘‘The fight against corruption must be seen as a priority, which everyone must be involved in,  if we desire to sustainably address the issue of poverty and also make the economy work for everyone,’’ she said.

Ambode, who commended the acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and his team for initiating the project aimed at engaging women in the fight against corruption, added that ‘‘it is a fact that women account for almost half of the Nigerian population. It, therefore, follows that such a huge population must be carried along as critical stakeholders on issues bordering on national development.’’

She further expressed the hope that the campaign would produce the desired effects in the Nigerian polity.

Also speaking, Ayo Obe, a renowned lawyer and rights activist, urged women to set the pace for the kind of morality that they would like to see not only in their homes but in the country.

In her remark titled ‘‘The Role of Women In The Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria ’’, Obe, who was the guest speaker, said though Nigerians were seen to be fantastically corrupt, women could still fight for ethical behaviour and instil integrity in their children .

She also decried the cliché-“Nothing-has-changed”- in view of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to stamp out corruption from Nigeria.

According to her, ‘‘As other governments before it, the present administration came to power promising to fight corruption.  And as has happened before, after some initial nervousness and attempts to be cautious about stealing other people’s money, one soon began to hear the “Nothing has changed” mantra.  It is as though we are too anxious to reassure ourselves that the old corrupt ways are still with us, so we don’t need to make any effort to change.  The eagerness with which we seize on allegations that – and after all – the supposed champions of change and probity are not so clean, are not merely due to party political loyalties.  It is as though as long as others are perceived to be standing clean and upright, some obligation lies on the rest of us to also make an effort to stand clean and upright.  But as soon as we can tell ourselves that “Oh, they aren’t clean or upright after all” (whether or not there is any truth in the various allegations), we have licence to sink back into the mire. "

Earlier in his welcome address, Magu said the genesis of Nigeria’s socio-economic problems could be traced to the long years of the unbroken chain of corruption.

He said corruption had eroded almost all the benefits that we should be enjoying from our natural resources.

Magu, who expressed gratitude to the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari, for collaborating with the Commission on the WAC project, added that there was a need to look in the direction of women if we must birth a new Nigeria of our dream.

The anti-graft boss, who also thank the Lagos State First Lady and wives of the South-West governors present on the occasion,  added that ‘‘In this task, we can only look in the direction of women, who naturally are gifted with the power to raise and nurture generations of people.

‘‘Also, we cannot continue to underestimate the power of women to change the destiny our nation. History abounds of some valiant Nigerian women who, in their lifetimes, had tried to make the nation a better place for us to live in through their heroic deeds. But why do we have to live in the glory of the past? History can still be repeated.’’

Magu, who called on Nigerian women in the South-west to be change agents, stated further that corruption was the cause of the current recession and the falling value of the Naira.

He added:  ‘‘We cannot continue to watch our country drift into intolerable poverty. It is time to act because corruption is not only a threat to our survival as a nation, but an issue of human rights.’’

The South-west WAC project rollout in Lagos was interspersed with goodwill messages by eminent personalities, including the Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr. ( Mrs. ) Idiat Oluranti Adebule; Oba of Lagos, HRH, Rilwan Akiolu; Lagos State Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade, who was represented; wife of the Ooni of Ife, Olori  Wuraola Zainab Ogunwusi,  Chief ( Mrs.) Nike Akande, Hon. Abike  Dabiri and Pastor Folu Adeboye amongst others.

Head Media & Publicity 
22 February, 2017