yle=”text-align: left;”>A cross-section of participants at the event in Abuja on Thursday.
A coalition of anti-corruption Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) called on Tuesday in Abuja for the establishment of a protection and whistleblowing law in the country.
The group made the call at a day-long stakeholder meeting organized by the Center for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and the International Whistleblower Network with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
Discussions at the workshop focused on the need for a legal framework to protect whistleblowers.
“It is important to realize that whistleblowing is a vital mechanism for accountability and good governance.
“Whistleblowers, like journalists, demand that power be held accountable. They play an invaluable role in exposing corruption, fraud, mismanagement, and other misdeeds that threaten society.
“In doing so, they take high personal risks. They can be fired, sued, blacklisted, arrested, threatened, or even assaulted or killed in extreme cases.
“Today in Nigeria, there are many whistleblowers facing all kinds of backlash in their offices.
“Shielding them from such punishments will promote and facilitate the fight against corruption, while also improving openness and accountability in government and corporate workplaces.
“Citizens have the right to report wrongdoing because it is also an extension of their fundamental right to freedom of expression,” Onumah said.
In her contribution, Ms. Liliane Mouan, Corruption and Human Rights Adviser at Amnesty International, West Africa, said that whistleblowing legislation remains an important tool in the fight against corruption.
He noted that corruption has wreaked havoc on nations and that whistleblowing legislation should be encouraged to end the threat.
In another contribution, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, Executive Director, “SAY NO Campaign”, urged civil society groups to build strong coalitions that would drive whistleblower protection and reporting in West Africa.
“We need to rethink the scope as well and confront the realities when we get there.
“We need to build a formidable coalition. Coalition is hard work. People fight to form coalitions, but coalitions are stillbirths where there are no defined goals.
“We need to define leadership, define membership, define why people come together and the urgency of time needs to be indicated,” Nwagwu said.
Source Credit: NAN