- Over the years, Say No campaign has continued to engage community members to fight corruption in their domain
- Labour and trade unions members are now left out in the advocacy that focuses on the need for accountability
- The campaign has been going on various states of the federation in the interest of entrenching accountability in government
FCT, Abuja - Say No Campaign anticorruption network made up of community members, labour and trade unionists which exists in seven states, have commenced the process of identifying projects of interest and pushing for their adequate implementation for the benefit of their communities.
In Mala kyariri, Mafa local government of Borno state, for instance, a Primary Health Care facility was shabbily built within the space of three months and abandoned, without equipment.
Legit.ng gathered that community members have converted the facility to a public defecation centre while vandalizing major fittings of the buildings including doors and windows.
In Jere local government in the state, a contractor, who is also an indigene of the community got the award to build a motorized borehole fitted with a generator set and complete piping network to supply water to 300 households, in the year 2000.
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Community members say the contractor only drilled the borehole which supplied water for a year at the project site and since 2001 the project has remained abandoned.
As a result, community members are forced to either buy water lavishly from water sellers or visit the resident of the contractor to pay for water sourced from the contractor’s private borehole.
A statement sent to Legit.ng by the media team of Say No Campaign noted that:
“This is the reality in most communities across states in Nigeria where contractors collude with government officials to dupe communities of functional infrastructural development necessary to improve conditions of life.
“While these communities suffer lack of access to health care, drinking water, and good education, state capitals are decorated with fancy projects, buildings, and campaign billboards.
“It is a regular sight to see children and young adults roam aimlessly in the streets without a plan. The government seems to be far from the people but only near in times of elections.
“This is why networks like the Community Anticorruption Working Group and Labour and Trade Union Network Against Corruption must not relent in fishing out unscrupulous contractors and pressurize them for full and adequate execution of projects in their respective communities.”
Legit.ng further gathered that the efforts of these community members and unionists have also led to the completion of previously abandoned project sites, as well as triggered action for the resuscitation of other abandoned projects in their state.
For instance, the labour union in Kano state succeeded in getting a contractor to complete the previously abandoned Yahaya-Gusau 1.6km road project, connecting two commercial roads, which was awarded by the preceding government.
The road has since been completed and commissioned by the state government.
In Borno state, the network engaged State Universal Basic Education Board to complete abandoned classroom blocks in Mafoni primary school, abandoned since 2006.
Positioning the unions as active drivers of anti-corruption in Nigeria
In July 2021, Say No Campaign held a dialogue with labour and trade union leaders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The theme of the event was supported by the MacArthur Foundation and attended by a Legit.ng reporter.
Speaking at the event, Ezenwa Nwagwu, the executive director of Say No Campaign Nigeria, noted that the activism of union leaders is called to question when they are not solving societal problems.
Seven states signed up to Say No Campaign advocacy
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Say No Campaign Nigeria has taken its campaign for community participation in the fight against corruption to about seven states so far.
The organisation has assembled round-table dialogues that sought to bring together trade unions and labor advocates to redefine the public service sector for efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
The dialogues are also geared towards deepening the focus of the union leaders on anti-corruption, offering encouragement, and providing networking opportunities in the struggle against the rampant abuse of public office.