This was the theme of the rally organized by Integrity Organization held in Lagos at the Havilah House of Event Yaba, Lagos on Friday 06 December 2013 as a build-up to the World’s Anti-Corruption Day on 09 December 2013.
Increasingly, Nigeria’s society will be driven by the young people. They make up about 70% of the Nigerian population. They are creative, tech savvy, passionate about sports, entertainment and fame (but with Swag). This core group of 18 – 35 year olds has risen to the occasion in the past to voice out how national issues in the country affect them- as exhibited during the #Occupy Nigeria protest,thereby showing the power these young people potentially wield.
Ironically, with this massive power, corruption is still the bane of Nigerian society. The country’s public image both internally and externally constantly takes a bashing in ratings across the world. Governance in the country is perceived to be lacking in accountability, regardless of the sector.
Integrity Organization believes that this great army of young people should be made aware of their power to influence good governance and accountability. They should be given a platform to express this power, to push for an improvement in the quality of lives and livelihoods and a reduction of corruption in society. To this end, the young people were enjoined to rally that SWAGG of theirs because “It’s Time to wake Up”!
According to the Executive Director of Integrity Mr. Soji Apampa, “SWAGG is an acronym for Stand With Accountability and Good Governance”. Mr. Apampa said the rally was to encourage, support and reward young people to take up anti-corruption as a counter industry to corruption.
As a build up to the rally, there was a competition on Twitter for young people to use their creativity to show how they would act to curb corruption. A number of high tech gadgets were up for grabs such as iPad and Andriod tablets.
The atmosphere at the Rally was rife with a playlist of contemporary music by Nigerian artistes sounding the themed message of standing with accountability and transparency. Artistes such as Sasha and Holy Mallam who were physically present at the rally, encouraged the young people to stand up for integrity and be the change generation. Short talks were given by guest speakers at the event. Mrs Kunbi Wurola spoke on ”Financial success, Corruption and the Youth”, Oje Ivagba spoke on “Leadership qualities young people show in a society struggling with corruption”,Dr. and Yolanda David George-David spoke on “Being an integrity youth ambassador in your sphere of influence.”
Corruption frustrates the efforts of young people to achieve their full potential. It hinders progress and their ability to get ahead. It reduces their chances of true and clean success and inhibits a system that rewards hard work and dedication.
When the people act, corruption stops! It starts with the young reporting corruption and building integrity in to processes and procedures that will shape their future.
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