Nigeria’s anti-corruption crusade is targeting the young as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) takes the campaign to secondary schools with a national anti-corruption debate among secondary schools in Nigeria to extend the frontiers of the fight and campaign against corruption.
Mrs Mosunmola Olanrewaju, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) Programme Manager (Legal), who attended the Lagos zonal segment of the debate which held on October 11, 2017 at the Co-curricular Division of the Lagos State Ministry of Education in Akoka, Yaba, described the initiative as remarkable.
The freedom of information lawyer noted that the perspectives provided by the young boys and girls during the debate were insightful, adding that the passion and depth with which the students argued their positions justified the essence of the debate.
The zonal debate which serves as a preliminary to the national debate constituted three stages including the final. At stage one, representatives of participating schools opposed each other as they argued the topic: “Corruption: An impediment to sustainable development goal”.
Those who qualified to the next stage (semi-final) also locked horns on the subject: “Punishment rather than preventive measure is the best form of fighting corruption”, with one group arguing in support of the motion and the other group arguing against it.
The finalists, Caleb International College and St. Grag’s College locked horns as the former opposed while the latter supported the position that: “Collective will of the people rather than political will of the leaders is the best way to tackle corruption”. The winner, Caleb would represent the zone at the national level.
Commenting on the debate, MRA’s Programme Manager for Freedom of Information, Mr. Ridwan Sulaimon, who served as a member of the panel of eight judges for the debate said: “I came with the assumption that I was just coming to score some competing boys and girls, but I am leaving here with a notepad full of lessons learnt and great ideas, having been enriched by the brilliant perspectives provided by the debaters.” Adding “This is indeed a worthy and commendable exercise.”