Dec 9 2016 was a red letter day in ANEEJ not because it was a commemoration of the International Day against Corruption but that it was a revelation that Nigerians are indeed interested in uniting against corruption.

ANEEJ executive director the Rev David Ugolor, in a speech and which was read on his behalf by Comrade Leo Atakpu, said that ‘we are happy that the government of the day led by President Muhammadu Buhari is making frantic efforts to address corruption’.


Leo Atakpu reading the welcome address. By his left of Tony Abolo and other panellists listening with attention

In a slide presentation depicting that ANEEJ is not just talking the talk but walking it, the erudite deputy director took an awed audience through memory from 1995 when ANEEJ began fighting the corruption cankerworm in Nigeria. ‘It takes two to tango’, he said. ‘We believe that if monies are stolen from Nigeria and stashed abroad, the countries wherein these monies are stashed are as culpable as Nigeria. That was why we began to fight for the repatriation of the $500million Abacha loot’, he said further.


                               Comrade Leo Atakpu presenting ANEEJ slides of a track record of anticorruption

But on the whole, it was panellists (Tony Abolo, veteran journalist and Development Alliance of the Niger Delta, DAND spokesperson, the Rev Humphrey Areghan, Dr.Anthony Osaro Ewere, a UNIBEN don, Kayode Efosa-Iyasere, former Senior Special Assistant to Adams Oshiomhole, and Professor Yinka Omorogbe) who spiced up proceedings and awakened the need for Nigerians to join hands to fight corruption.

Tony Abolo, delivering his submission on his vision of the Niger Delta without corruption

Tony Abolo said that Nigerians must imbibe a new set of values and pursue knowledge and creativity and shift from the present paradigm of respect for money irrespective of how it is earned.  For Rev Humphrey Areghan, young people should not believe that it is only through a university education that they can make an impact on society.

               Rev Humphrey: The Media must support issues of moral benefit to the society

Other participants who spoke at the event saw corruption as an epidemic which makes everyone vulnerable. Therefore to curb it urgent steps need to be taken, like taking a stand to unite against  the threat posed by corruption. They also called on the media to support issues of moral benefit to the society, as well as the need for civic participation in the fights against corruption.

        Dr Anthony Ewere: Corruption is an epidemic and it makes us all very vulnerable

Some of the participants who took the discussants to task were not happy that in spite of the need to unite against corruption, those who should change the laws to punish corrupt people will not do so, apparently because they too are beneficiaries of the corrupt system.

Comrade Kayode Efosa-Iyasere: Corruption is in government and we must unite to fight it