Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has urged the youth in Nigeria to imbibe the value of integrity, declaring that it is erroneous to think that there would be no consequences for corrupt acts.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday at the unveiling of the Integrity and Zero Tolerance Clubs Manual developed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for pupils in primary schools and students in secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“Let me say why I say it is an error to think that corruption pays. It is a mistake. Many societies in the world were where we are today.
“But soon they realise that no society can survive by dishonesty, greed, and theft. Society will eventually collapse.
“What those societies did was to take an all-of-society approach to fight dishonesty.”
The Vice President warned the youth those who commit crimes would always be caught by the “long arm of the law even if sometimes slow.”
The Vice President said that there is no time bar or statute of limitation against a crime.
“A man who steals this year can be arrested in 10 years for his crimes, so when you steal you cannot sleep with both eyes closed. Every knock at the door will get you worried,” he stated.
Prof. Osinbajo decried the false notion that there seem to be many in a society whose wealth cannot be explained.
He commended the establishment of integrity clubs in schools, saying it is a recognition that integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness, are crucial individual and collective attributes for successful people and communities.
“Every corrupt act is not just a crime, it is a crime against society and even children yet unborn.”
Welcoming guests to the event, the Chairman of the EFCC, Abdurasheed Bawa said the commission’s graft prevention strategies have, over the years, target various demographic groups, adding that the most crucial has been children in primary and secondary schools as well as youths in tertiary institutions.
“The choice of school children and youths as torch bearers in this important crusade is informed by the fact that they are not only vulnerable to the effects of economic and financial crimes but retain the potential of breaking with the past years of decadence to deliver the much-cherished destiny of our nation as a corrupt-free society.”
Bawa said the commission designed programmes and activities aimed at nurturing a culture of integrity in the formative years of the young population.
“The clubs are designed not only to improve children and youth understanding and sensitivity to the issues of economic and financial crimes but as a deliberate intervention to imbue them with values which underpin integrity, honesty, transparency, and accountability; to influence their behavior and character formation,” he stated.
The Principal, of Model Secondary School Maitama Abuja, Mrs. Elizabeth Gowdin said the integrity Clubs and the manual would help in nurturing the character of the students at a tender age as well as shape their minds against corrupt tendencies.