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ICPC boss tasks youths on integrity, says corruption dream killer

From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has urged Nigerian youths to reject corruption and embrace integrity, warning that it can derail their aspirations.

Owasanoye made the call on Wednesday, at the maiden edition of the ICPC inter-school debate for tertiary institutions held at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.

The ICPC boss, who was represented by Alhaji Goni Gujba, a member of the Commission’s Board, asserted that although youth are the country’s future leaders, both the older and younger generations themselves must take action to create a supportive environment that fosters this progressive ideal.

“It is indeed a truism that no nation can grow and develop faster than its level and standards of education. Permit me to observe at this juncture that the deficiencies of our society are magnified by the fact that the youth in our educational institutions are starved of the appropriate ethical and cultural values necessary to become model citizens.

“You should therefore count yourselves lucky that your parents and guardians are suitably investing in helping you acquire knowledge and skills that will put you in good stead to realize your goals and dreams, but you must also realise that corruption is a dream killer and if you do not fight it to a standstill at your level, it will kill your future dreams.

“Corruption is often erroneously viewed as an adult problem yet the seeds of this societal virus are planted in the early stages of a person’s life. One of the holy books admonishes us to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he shall not depart from it. I therefore urge you to determine in your heart that you will not give the evil seeds of corruption and value degeneration a conducive environment to germinate.” He said.

The ICPC boss explained that the inter-school debate was one of the several platforms ICPC created to encourage capacity building, ethical re-orientation, behavioural change and positive value rejuvenation especially amongst the youths.

“I therefore implore you the teachers to take advantage of critical behavioural change initiatives of the Commission such as the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, the National Values Curriculum as well as the student clubs and vanguard platforms to add moral values to the precious lives in your care.

“This debate is a mental exercise to broaden horizons and sharpen the mind. As students, you should use this opportunity to learn new things and make new friends. The identity of who you will be tomorrow largely depends on the choices and actions you take today. I therefore advise that you look beyond rivalry and competition and focus on the key issues which you have been asked to discuss. These issues as captured in the debate topics are prevalent in our society and your opinions as youth can help in shaping the future of this great nation.” He added.

Schools that participated in the debate were; Veritas University, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa State and University Of Abuja.

Others were; Baze University, FCT College of Education, Zuba and Bingham University.

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