The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, AFRICMIL, a civil society organization working on creating awareness on the whistleblower policy of the Nigerian government, has commended the management of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust and other titles, for using its platform to wage war against corruption and strengthen democracy in the country.
Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL who led a delegation to the media outfit, said the purpose of the courtesy visit was to promote partnership with like-minded organizations in the efforts to ensure accountability and good governance. He said AFRICMIL through its project, Corruption Anonymous, is in the forefront of encouraging active citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption through whistleblowing.
“Our main objective is to see how we can mobilize Nigerians to adopt whistleblowing as a potent tool that can be used to reduce corruption to its barest minimum,” Onumah said. He said while whistleblowing was desirable, whistleblowers worry about their safety, and so they deserve protection.
Onumah cited two whistleblowers, Ntia Thompson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Murtala Ibrahim of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, whose cases AFRICMIL is handling. Both are currently being persecuted for reporting fraud in their offices. He urged Media Trust Limited to help expose persecutors of whistleblowers.
Responding, Mannir Dan-Ali, Chief Executive Officer/Editor-in-Chief of Daily Trust, stressed the importance of holding government accountable. He said civil society organizations were already doing a good job and urged them to keep issues of corruption alive by giving them the attention they deserved.
He said Media Trust Limited placed high premium on humanizing stories of whistleblower who are being punished for their actions, adding that the organization would always seek out opportunities to partner with civil society groups in the anti-corruption war.
The courtesy visit was part of activities to promote awareness, protect whistle blowers and build public support for the new whistle-blower policy of the Nigerian government under a project tagged Corruption Anonymous. The project is being implemented with the support of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Other members of the AFRICMIL team on the visit were Lewis Asubiojo, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz and Godwin Onyeacholem.
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