Live at #MeetTheIcons Hosted by Accountability Lab
On: November 12, 2019
One of our partners, Accountability Lab Nigeria, hosted an event themed ‘Meet The Icons’ which was held at the Swedish Embassy in Abuja on the 8th of November 2019. Accountability lab supports changemakers to develop and implement positive ideas for integrity in their communities, unleashing positive social and economic change.
The objective of the event were:
To unveil the integrity icons of 2019.
To emphasize ways that Nigerians can apply utmost integrity in all they do regardless of their status.
To engage the media to use their wide range platform to amplify the voices of icons so young people who see such stories would be inspired.
According to a representative from the Sweden embassy, “anti-corruption, accountability, and transparency are all we have to hold our governments accountable in Nigeria and Sweden. Those in influential positions should not be given special privileges, for example, in Sweden, politicians go as far as picking up their children from school themselves, pay taxes just like every other Sweden citizens and we wish Nigeria could also follow these examples. Sweden is making an effort to partner with Nigeria and create institutions such as hospitals, schools, and other social amenities using the taxes of the people because when people see results on how their taxes are implemented they would be less reluctant to pay tax”.
Bukola Adewunmi, one of the Integrity Icons, highlighted the cutback of journalists to perform their duties effectively. According to her, there is little or no press freedom in Nigeria, journalists are restricted from practicing pure investigative journalism because of a threat to life, detention or assault. The social-political environment of Nigeria has influenced press freedom.
The meeting ended with participants identifying that Integrity begins at the individual level. The media, which is a critical mass of voice, has a huge role to play in the advocacy and promotion of integrity because citizens outside the system have very little to do in enforcing integrity in the public sector. Additional patriotism is required on the sides of the citizens and government for everyone to be a beneficiary of utmost integrity.