Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged On-Air Personalities (OAPs) to support the Federal Government in prosecuting the war against corruption, using their various platforms.
The minister made the appeal in Lagos on Saturday when he met with OAPs from radio and television stations, in continuation of his ongoing consultation with key stakeholders in the information and culture sector.
“President Buhari is leading the war against corruption right from the front, and we implore all Nigerians to support him. We appeal to you to leverage on your important platforms to support this war by ensuring that Nigerians are well informed about the evils of corruption,” he said, adding: “This is not Buhari’s war. This is not APC’s war. This is Nigeria’s war and failure is not an option.”
Explaining why Nigeria must fight corruption to a standstill, Alhaji Mohammed said it deprives the people the opportunity of reaping the dividends of democracy, in addition to stifling good governance.
“When the money meant to construct roads is embezzled or misappropriated, the end results are that the roads are not built and the people suffer and even die in avoidable road accidents. When the money meant for education is looted, we are unable to provide quality education for our children. When the money meant to fight terrorism is looted or diverted for prayers, publicity, purchase of land for maritime university or simply to rally support for a political party, soldiers die needlessly, hordes of widows emerge and people are pushed from their communities to IDP camps.
“These, in stark reality, are the costs of corruption. We must give a face to corruption and stop talking about it in the abstract. Nigerians must know that when they celebrate corrupt people, they are celebrating their own deprivations, the denial of the dividends of democracy and the endemic poverty in our society,” the minister said.
He commended the OAPs for discharging their duties creditably, saying their invaluable role helped to ensure a largely violence-free election in 2015 and a successful and historic transfer of power.
The minister had earlier met with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
According to him, the meetings are aimed at ensuring that all stakeholders are carried along in the formulation and implementation of relevant policies, and to also bridge the information gap between the government and the people.