Wednesday, 12 July 2017

US Mission, Religious Leaders Charge Public to Expose Corruption, Laud Champions in Nigeria

Rebecca Ejifoma


The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria in collaboration with BudgIT, a local NGO alongside Religious Leaders Anti-Corruption (RLAC) working group and Nigerian law enforcement agencies, today launched Report Yourself, a web-based platform that leverages citizen engagement to fight corruption in Nigeria dand report police misconduct.

This anti-corruption initiative is funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, and was developed by BudgIT. And the public is to file complaints on www.report yourself.org.

During the official launch ceremony, U.S. Chargé d' Affaires, Mr. David Young explained that Report Yourself puts the power to report corruption in the hands of the Nigerian people.

“I hope that Report Yourself starts a new movement in citizen engagement and I hope every Nigerian who is affected by corruption will feel empowered to share their experiences.  The tide will turn against the culture of corruption when Nigerians recognize that they must fight as one to stamp out this scourge that has hampered development and stifled prosperity,” he said.

Chargé Young urged Nigerians to demonstrate their commitment to the fight against corruption by making use of the innovative online platform which seeks to address the daily instances of corruption faced by millions of Nigerians.

Report Yourself offers Nigerians the means to instantaneously report corruption, bribery, and graft with the option of filing an official compliant with the Nigerian Police Force Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit.

“Through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, we are working to increase the capacity of Nigerian law enforcement agencies and the justice sector,” remarked Chargé Young.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Abayomi Shogunle assured the public that every specific complaints laid would be attended to within 24 hours. “Use the PCRRU to respond to these questions: who, what, when did it happen, where, why, how. If you  give us the day, time and place, it may be difficult to solve the problem. And we respond only to those who provide the specifics.”

According to him, the Public Complaint Rapid Respond Unit (PCRRU) is there for the public to complain of the bad officers, who do not keep the ethics and standard of the police force. “As much as we have given you the power to expose the evil vices of those corrupt practices, we want the public to also celebrate the champions in this force. Log on the platform and post the specifics of an officer who kept the standards.”

Addressing the issue further, representative of Civil Society, Mr. Felix Morka, described the launch of ReportYourself as a massive step to making “us” soldiers in the fight against corruption.

“Corruption is a thing of the kind. Corruption leads to poverty and injustice. All of us have experienced the small corruption in our own daily lives,” he said.

During the event, participants received a guided demonstration of the Report Yourself platform, in addition, religious leaders, members of law enforcement, and civil society representatives renewed their commitment to fight against corruption.

Others present at the launch included: Mr. Emmanuel Isong (a Bishop) and Mr. Shefiu (an Imam); Lead Partner, BudgIT, Oniseun Onigbinde; US Consulate Lagos, Meghan Luckette and Manager, Operations BudgIT, Stanley Achonu.

Now, while Shefiu pledges to preach in his mosque on standing against corruption daily, Isong said Nigerians had been given a platform to combat this scourge disturbing the nation. They said the news would get to their congregation