Social influencers operating as a cohort mainstreaming anti-corruption and probity consciousness in Nigeria have been reflecting together with the Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD) administering the support for the project from US based MacArthur Foundation. At the 5-hour long session Tuesday, cohort members, CITAD operatives and MacArthur Foundation directors compared notes in the aftermath of the first quarter of the project.
The project is the outcome of an extensive discussion with different sections of Nigeria in 2010 on what they consider to be most threatening to Nigeria and Nigerians. Corruption was voted as the culprit when there are no drugs in the hospital or when schools are in bad shape, roads impassable and so on and so forth. Hence the decision to mainstream anti-corruption consciousness in favour of probity compliant power relationship, with particular relationship to the 2019 elections whose winners would occupy the spaces where public resources are most concentrated and controlled in Nigeria.
Starting with paper presentations which focused on the nexus between corruption and conflict as well as creativity in the fight against corruption, the session extended to experience sharing, reports from the field and the critical appraisal of the project so far from the lens of CITAD operatives. The final segment discussed corruption and the 2019 elections.
Chaired by Dr. Tunde Akanni of the Lagos State University, the cluster meeting was attended by over 20 members. While Dr. Akanni harped on the need for members of the cluster to adhere to the deadlines for the submission of quarterly reports, Mr. Dayo Olaide of MacArthur Foundation stressed the importance of prompt attention to any conflicts of interest that might be noted at any point in time, particularly as Nigeria approaches a general election during which objectivity could quickly be tested. Social influencers, on the other hand, discussed challenges they confronted in the field so far, with suggestions on how to improve the project.
The session closed with a communiqué signed by Dr. Tunde Misbahu Akanni for CITAD and Danlami Nmodu; Ayo Obe and Richard Akinnola for the cohort for the Social Influencers.