The Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh, has called on Nigerian youths to imbibe the culture of integrity and discipline while engaging in their daily activities. He made the disclosure while briefing journalists at the 4th Edition of the 2020 Integrity Icon awards in Abuja. He advised the youth to put in more efforts in their source of livelihoods and never to envy others or be in a hurry to make quick money. “I want all youth to deviate from this ‘quick money’ syndrome. It is good for them to do things the right way, and not engage in illegal money-making ventures.”

He said Accountability Lab Nigeria is creating opportunities for young people to be celebrated, especially those who have lived a life of integrity. At the end of the day, a Nurse and Nutritional Officer in Kogi State emerged as the winner of the 4th edition of the 2020 Integrity Icon award. The award was based on her honesty and diligence in refusing to compromise with other officers by spending the money assigned to the officials for the immunization program in Kogi state.

Other nominees of the program include Jimoh Abiola, a divisional Officer, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State; Mohammad Rabiu, a lecturer of the Nassarawa State University, Keffi State; Oyeronke Suebat Izobo, a lecturer and Administrator in the Lagos State college of health and technology; and DCN Comrade Philip Ezegbulam, Chief Secretary Police Service Commission Abuja State.

Fatima Yusuf, who was honored alongside four other nominees at the event, has served at La Mona Clinic for 3 years without any dent despite the challenges.  She rose to the post of  Supervisor due to her honesty, diligence, and hard work.  While running a WHO program, she decided not to engage in dubious actions and stood for truth and justice while executing the project.

Speaking at the event, Grace Joy, an activist, emphasized the need to put an end to discrimination of people living with disability. “The country usually does not give opportunities to people living with disabilities. When building facilities and buildings, people with disabilities are usually not factored into the system. If we say that we are promoting accountability, we should not forget those who are living with disabilities.” A Media Strategist, Eugenia Abu said all Nigerians should rise up and stop compromising the standards in all sectors of the economy. She added that accountability and governance rest with individuals in the country. “We should stop shifting blame on our leaders for our predicament in the country. Each individual should be able to give accounts of their stewardship in every area of life.”

The article was originally published in Bukola Afeni and Newsday Nigeria