By Nwachukwu Egbunike
Corruption is a stench that has been associated with Africa’s most populous nation for a long time. And this rancid slime has almost morphed into a national identity. While the initial reaction is to associate this as an exclusively moral mishap, yet the fact remains that corruption also has economic consequences [for instance, see here, here and here]. Unfortunately, many conversations – talk shops and come chop – have been targeted at the high and mighty while the greater percentage of Nigeria’s famed 150 million bear irredeemable scares of this malady. It is therefore elating to learn of an initiative that is targeted at the youths: #EC4NY – is a virtual and real time intervention for youths, by youths and with youths.
#EC4NY is propelled by Radio Netherlands and the Department of Communication and Language Arts of the University of Ibadan. This collaboration aims at proposing a prescription for corruption. Not that the youths will be able to implement but at least it provides a more valid platform to discuss and perhaps work within a limited but potent sphere of influence.
The #EC4NY virtual debate is already on-going and the depth of discussion is stunning. Nonetheless the second part of the #EC4NY conversation aims at bridging the digital divide with a more intimate real time meeting. Therefore on Wednesday, June 26, sixty young Nigerians will converge in the communication department of the University of Ibadan to voice their concerns about corruption and the future of their country.
Dr Ayobami Ojebode, Head, Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan explains further in this interview published by the Tribune newspaper:
We can take slightly more than 60 students but we are unable to cope with a huge crowd because we want an intensely interactive forum. We don’t want just another gathering characterized by noise, side-talks and fanfare and ending just there.
But we live in a virtual world, meaning that students who cannot participate physically in the discussion can participate virtually. Students are encouraged to follow the Twitter debate (via the hashtag #EC4NY). They could post their questions on Facebook…
This is not the usual talk-shops that solve nothing neither would #EC4NY everything. Rather it hopes to provide a credible platform from which these voices will resonate to the whole world. Dr Ojebode further asserts:
There are several ways in which this can benefit the youth and the country. Think of the Nigerian youth. Although they represent more than half of our population and have been constantly told that they are the leaders of tomorrow, they often complain that they’re not heard. In fact, they are robbed of their voices and slots. You remember that the position of the national youth leader of a prominent political party in Nigeria – a slot meant for the youth – is occupied by a 60-year old grandpa! I hope that through the discussion itself, and its prolongation on various national and international media, the voices of the youths will be heard.
Are you are in Ibadan? Are you still young (18 to 35 years only)? Then this is the event to attend. Stop complaining or insulting your leaders via the comfort of your home. It’s about time to move from clicktivisim to real activism. We’ve had enough on-line debates, it time to get real. Let’s kick out corruption!
Remember that #EC4NY debate holds on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
By 2.00 pm prompt.
At the Department of Communication and Language Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan.
The event is free and admission is strictly on a first-come basis.