Corruption: Religious Leaders, Journalists Tackle Menace

By Osarume Imafidon and Fehintola Ambali

In a bid to curb corruption and hate speech in Nigeria, the Strength In Diversity Development Centre (SDDC), organized a-One-Day Interfaith And Media Engagement Forum On Anti-corruption and Hate Speech Campaign, on Tuesday.

The event which started about 10:30 a.m was themed: Harnessing Interfaith and Media Potentials in the Fight against Corruption in Nigeria.

SDDC is a body that comprises Inter-Faith Citizen Observers (both Muslims and Christians), whose goal is to build a nation where people will have the freedom to exercise their religious and cultural rights without fear.

Corruption: Religious Leaders, Journalists Tackle Menace

The gathering concentrated on how to utilize their position as “opinion leaders and Faith-Based Institution”, to combat hate speech and incitement to violence and discrimination along ethnic and religious divide in all of its forms in Nigeria.

The welcome address was done by Bishop Emma Isong, one of the conveners of the event, he stated that Nigeria is a great and versatile country with men and women of multi-tribal, religious and philosophical backgrounds which should be our strength and not otherwise.

During the programme, opinion leaders from a different religious background shared ideas on ways to tackle the issue.

A veteran media practitioner, Amb (Dr) Segun Aderiye, said “there is a need for everyone to take his/her religious seriously” because anything that is an abomination in our religion is definitely a corruption to the society.

He concluded by saying that “the heart of a man is the heart of the problem”.

Corruption: Religious Leaders, Journalists Tackle Menace

The Chairperson, Women Journalists, Lagos-Nigeria, Hajia Sekinah Lawal, stressed that religious leaders and law enforcement agencies are key in fighting corruption and hate speech.

Adding that corrupt individuals shouldn’t be praised by opinion leaders and promoted by the media, but they should report and frown at any form of corruption and hate speech.

Another Speaker, Dr. Mubeen Raji was of the opinion that Political offices are not for religious leaders and asked that the welfare of religious leaders should be taken care of so that they won’t have to stain themselves as well as take their eyes and mind away from what is dirty.

Government and other regulatory bodies were urged to see into the regulation of social media and other new media as they are mostly guilty of broadcasting hate speech.

The group, however, came up with development ideas on how to fight corruption and hate speech and a charter was signed to affirm their agreement.

Corruption: Religious Leaders, Journalists Tackle Menace

1999 constitution, section 95 and 96 of the 2010 Electoral Act, Section 59, 88A of the Criminal Code and Section 417 of the penal code and Cybercrime-prohibition, prevention ETC-Act 2015 were referenced.

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