The Executive Director of a non-governmental organisation, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and corruption, Dr Walter Duru has urged public servants in Nigeria to see themselves first as citizens with a responsibility to protect the interest of the people instead of there establishment’s.
Dr Duru gave the charge while delivering a paper at a Sensitisation and Capacity Building Workshop on Voices Against Corruption for CSOs and Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies organised by CLEEN Foundation in Port Harcourt, recently.
According to Dr Duru who is also the Head, Department of Mass Communication, Madona University, Okija, Anambra State, public servants must make a deliberate decision to stand with the people in the fighting against corruption by refusing to cooperate with corrupt government functionaries, as he said no official corruption could take place without the active connivance of public servants.
He urged the Federal Government to institute systems that would prevent corruption in government circles in order to win the war instead of just arresting people and throwing them into detention.
The university don advised public servants to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to fight against shady deals in government transactions by ensuring open and transparent processes without fear of any official backlash.
He urged public servants not only to be proactive in divulging information to the public but to also be readily forthcoming with answers to questions, information and documents to CSOs and other members of the public, especially when requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
By: Opaka Dodubo.