*COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE DAY PROGRAM ON ETHICS AND INTEGRITY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOS) AND THE MEDIA IN KOGI STATE HELD AT HALIMS HOTELS, LOKOJA, KOGI STATE. ON WEDNESDAY 17TH MAY, 2023. ORGANIZED BY CONSCIENCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (CHRCR) IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC)*
The Programme had in attendance members of selected Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Women Groups, Religious and Youth Leaders, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and Members of Media Practitioners such as Print, Electronics and Online. Etc
The event featured presentations on Corruption as Absence of Ethics and Integrity
Its described corruption as absence of ethical conducts and describe Ethic as a fundamental principle. Integrity is consistency, uprightness and wholesome conduct. Ethics is important in governance and even among the Civil Society Organizations and the Media, who were described as part of the building blocks of a vibrant democracy.
This is because popular participation which is an important part of democracy increase democratic legitimacy. Popular participation in a vibrant democracy increase opportunity for active citizenship, increase equality of access to policy and decision-making. It equally increases quality service to the people.
The objectives was to examine the post 2023 elections on Ethics and Integrity in the fight against Corruption and Accountability.
1. Lack of Ethics and Integrity in the service of Civil Society Organization and Media create big vacuum in the acceptability of the society in the service they render.
2. That INEC in the just concluded 2023 elections, have not improve on Ethics and Integrity, despite the improved provisions in the 2022 Electoral Act.
3. That the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are not doing enough in the promotion of Ethic and Integrity.
4. That platform of stakeholders, that comprising different and relevant stakeholders are lacking, therefore creating a big vacuum in Kogi State, in the fight against Corruption and Accountability in the electoral and political process.
At The end of the one-day programme, the following recommendations were approved.
1. The Civil Society Organisations CSOs were encourage to work for popular participation, so as to increase democratic legitimacy because of their link to the citizens
2. Urge greater accountability of public bodies or institutions between different community and social groups.
3. The Programme urge Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to intensify their activities and apply ethics and integrity, to encourage voice and participation in core value, that promote Democratic Principals, Good Governance, Electoral Integrity and legitimacy
4. Encourage at all political level, that political process or institutions must respect freedom of thought and association.
5. The Media as the fourth Estate of the ream, as provided in section 22 of the 1999 as amended, were encourage to air and produce views, commentaries and information to enhance National Ethics and Integrity.
6. To report issues of public interests in fair, accurate, unbiased, decent manner and language.
7. Media were encourage to create products or programs which can enhance Ethics and Integrity.
8. That stakeholders that comprises of Civil Society Organization (CSOs), Women Groups, Religious Institutions, Youth Groups etc should create a platform that will engage the governorship candidates in an open debate towards the 2023 November 11th Governorship election in Kogi State.
The Program concluded by emphasising the effective way of achieving the task ahead through the instrumentality of ethics and Integrity. The program appreciate *CHRCR* and *CISLAC* for their consistency in the crusade against corruption and accountability with the continued support of *John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation*
*Idris Miliki Abdul*
Conscience for Human Right and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR),
Lokoja, Kogi State