Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau has advised traditional and religious leaders to dig into the backgrounds of people seeking chieftaincy stools and religious offices so as to minimise corruption in the society.
Lalong made the call on Wednesday in Jos, at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.
The meeting, which focused on value reorientation and the fight against corruption, was organised in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency.
Represented by hoda Dakok, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Lalong said that such checks were crucial to selecting people of integrity to such noble positions.
Dakok said: “This gesture will help weed out corrupt persons whose goal is to abuse such privilege positions.”
He also said that the fight against corruption should not be left for the executive arm of government.
He said: “All arms of government have roles to play. The legislature, the judiciary and all sectors, must be involved.
“It is on this note that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission recently commissioned investigators to verify constituency projects executed by the immediate past senators and members of House of Representatives.”
He said that the state government would continue to partner with NOA for massive public awareness on the adverse consequences of corruption on the polity.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Prof. Etannibi Alemika, a member of PACAC, had pointed out that corruption was affecting the equitable distribution of dividends of democracy to Nigerians, thus stalling development.
Alemika, who also presented a paper on ‘Imperative of Collective Fight Against Corruption ‘, said that the menace could be curbed through developing and implementing systems, laws, policies and sanctions that minimise opportunities and motivation for corruption.
In his remarks, Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General of NOA, said that corruption was affecting delivery of quality services to the public leading to poverty, poor standard of education, health services and infrastructure development, amongst others.
Garba, who was represented by Bulus Dabit, the Plateau State Director of NOA, said that all agents of socialisation, especially the family, schools and religious institutions must contribute to value reorientation through inculcating values that would fight corruption and ensure a better society.
He said: “Even at family level, do not give room to vices, because such is nurtured to adulthood and reflected in corrupt practices.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders from the traditional, religious and government institutions attended the meeting.
Other participants included youth groups, security agencies, Civil Society Organisations and the media.