Angela Oyo-Ita, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar on Saturday said corruption in Nigeria was more infectious than the dreaded and highly infectious COVID-19.
Oyo-Ita gave the statement at an anti-corruption symposium organised by Students Christian Movement of Nigeria and Priests Peace and Justice Initiative, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, in Calabar.
The Professor of Community Medicine said corruption had become pervasive in the nation because of the “others are doing it and prospering syndrome” that had eaten into different facets of the nation.
She told the youth who were using the programme to commemorate the International Youth Day that they still had the power to choose not to be corrupt, to save the future of the nation.
“Nigeria is 154th in the World Corruption Perception Index out of 180 nations with a 24 per cent rate of transparency, this gives the nation a bad image, we must change the trend.
“Despite the situation, the Bible is replete with young men and women who refused to be corrupted even though they were in corrupt foreign lands where they were not being monitored by their parents or government.
“The choice to be corrupt or not lies with us as a people but if we must save the soul of this nation for the future generations, we need to choose the latter,” she said.
While appealing to youths, Oyo-Ita said they were the hope of the future, adding that they needed to know where the older generation failed and what to do to put the nation back in the right direction.
On his part, Agbaji Oreya, Programme Manager of PPJ in a lecture titled “The Role of Religion in the Fight Against Corruption”, said it had become endemic in Nigeria and if nothing was done today, our children would suffer.
Oreya said corruption in Nigeria had become systemic, adding that we must continue to strive that our children do not grow up to see corruption as normal due to eroded value system.
“The Church must not leave the fight against corruption in the hands of the government, it must continue to persuade people and preach against it if we must save Nigeria.
“As a Church, we must promote the three ‘s’ model which is to shun, speak and stand against corruption in our politics, educational system and even in the church to save our nation.
The programme commenced with an anti- corruption rally from the Federal Government Girls College, Calabar to the University of Calabar with many youths wielding banners written “shun corruption,” “corruption kills,” “speak against corruption.” (NAN)