By Joy Baba-Yesufu
The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), a non-governmental organization that focuses on media, information, research, advocacy and training is currently making frantic move to build public confidence and support the whistleblowing policy of the government of Nigeria with its project Corruption Anonymous (CORA).
Speaking at a one-day media workshop for journalist on whistleblowing and whistleblower protection put together by the organization, AFRICMIL coordinator, Chido Onumah said the project began by engaging three major planks which include creating awareness and sensitizing the public to the importance of whistleblowing as a tool for fighting corruption and checking other forms of wrongdoing in the society, advocating honest implementation of the policy, and ensuring effective protection for people who are courageous enough to blow the whistle.
According to him “In a bid to ensure a successful implementation of the CORA project, AFRICMIL has built strategic alliances with relevant stakeholders like the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), a unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, that is charged with the responsibility of managing the whistleblowing policy, anti-corruption agencies, civil society organisations, a coalition of public interest lawyers and, of course, the media.
Onumah who was represented by the organisation’s senior program officer, Godwin Onyeacholem further said AFRICMIL believes that journalists are also whistleblowers and so should have as much stake, if not more, than any agency in not only the entrenchment of the culture of speaking up against wrongdoing, but also in the practice of standing up for anyone facing reprisals for doing so. “We hope that at the end of this process we can create a network of journalists focused on whistleblowing and whistleblower protection” he added.
Also speaking at the workshop, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz of Daily Trust urged journalists to avoid anything unethical that will compromise their sources and ensure that their fidelity is to God and to the truth. He called on Nigerians to give adequate information that can help journalists blow the whistle against all forms of corruption.