Thrilled by the effort of the governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in a sustained and systematic fight against corruption through curtailing drug abuse in the state, the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI) honoured him with an Award of Best Governor in Curtailing Drug Abuse in the country.
At the 2017 ARDI Media Merit Award of Excellence, which took place at NANET Suites, Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the group Chief Dennis Aghanya, says, "Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje represents most of he values that ARDI as an organisation is known for in standing in support of the fight against corruption and graft in Nigeria."
Emphasising that, governor Ganduje has, within few years, transformed Kano state into a microcosm of Nigeria as an emerging destination for governmental transparency, accountability and democratic practices.
Adding that, "To be specific, he has taken the anti-corruption campaign to the grassroots by commissioning the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission offices in all the 44 local governments of the state."
Appreciating Ganduje's style in the fight against the menace Aghanya insisted that, the state remains a beacon of hope amongst its peers, saying that, "Ganduje administration remains committed to the fight against corruption in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's campaign promises and his administration focus to end corruption."
According to the Executive Secretary all the offices of the state anti-graft body were equipped with communication gadgets, computer and Internet for easy dissemination of information. They are intended to serve as reconciliation centres for disputes and resolving conflicts between citizens.
He further explained that, Ganduje had embarked on another path as a creative leader on a mission to establish positive paradigm shift not only in his state but in the country in general.
"He instituted programmes aimed at curtailing abuse of drugs and use of hard drugs by the teeming youth population of Kano state. This is informed by the firm belief that a society cannot get off the destructive road of corruption if the youth are not weaned of the drugs that perpetrate anti-social behaviours," he said.
Earlier governor Ganduje who was represented by the Executive Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, Barrister Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, said, "The effort of this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in check mating the menace of the culture of corruption in our society is so glaring and the records recorded can be attested by all well meaning citizens that mean well to this country."
Arguing that, the endemic corruption in the land needs collective approach to be able to make a meaningful progress.
Ganduje reveals that, "One of the cardinal objectives of our government is the non-interference policy in the activities of our anti-corruption agency to the extent that a serving commissioner, permanent secretary, director and recently the Accountant General of the state fall. All were investigated and subsequently prosecuted by anti-corruption."
"The dedicated agency to oversee the drugs excesses as well as reformative mechanisms in Kano state is underway to complement the federal government agency doing similar effort in the state," the governor said.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) in his paper he delivered at the event titled "The Role of the Media in the Fight Against Corruption" says "The media has a very vital role to play in the fight against corruption. On its part, the Nigerian media have been unrelenting in carrying news reports and analysis on corruption and related matters. And this is the most important way the press has helped in the anti corruption crusade."
He observed that, "The level of development of the Nigerian media may constitute hindrance to its effective performance of its role as a major anti-corruption watchdog, as most media organisations are under-capitalised and depend heavily on advertisements from the same institutions and governments they are to watch."
Anwar is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State