Minister for Youth and Sports Solomon Dalong while speaking at the opening session of a two-day National Conference on ‘Youths Against Corruption’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, accused young Nigerians of helping and encouraging corruption in Nigeria. He stated that the youth succumb willingly to men and women with suspicious riches, especially top government officials. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon encouraged the youth to thrust aside any kind of gain that may come from corruption and play a significant role in the fight to trample all sorts of corrupt acts in the country.
He also pointed out that Nigerian youths should give up the exorbitant desire to be become rich overnight which has resulted in making most Nigerian youths corrupt. The minster went on to share how much he regrets that some of the youths now choose to live big by owning pricey cars, all for the love of showing off how deep their pockets are including student leaders. He urged them to join the present battle against corruption and to copy past leaders, who in his words did their jobs as the moral sense of the society by taking a stance against bad policies of successive governments.
He referenced his time in the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, when students of unquestionable integrity and patriotism declined a big offer made to them to own a parcel of land in one of the areas that were highly demanded in Abuja just to show they could not be bought over.
In The words of Mr. Dalong:
The fight against corruption cannot be won until we adopt a different social, political, economic and religious path to living a life free of corruption.
The failures of the older generation to instill the right morals and ethics must give way to a new perspective on doing things.
Corruption must be regarded for the evil that it is and the short-term benefits it provides, rejected as toxic to the stability of Nigeria,” .
The minister wasn’t alone in the corruption speech as Ekpo Nta, the chairman of ICPC, also thanked and demonstrated gratitude for the way Nigerian youth were now being included in the war against corruption.
He told the students to consider thoroughly the teaming up of ICPC with them to describe the part they want to play in the war.
Mr. Nta further expressed gratitude for the great privilege granted to ICPC in working in collaboration with the youth against corruption, stating that it was the idea of the youths to hold the conference in the first place.
Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, also urged the students to lead the war against corruption as they had often been the victims corruption most of the times. He went on to encourage them to participate in changing Nigeria for the best.
The National President of the NANS, Tijani Shehu, also recommended that the conference should be done at the zonal level to help youths across the country participate more actively.