By Abah Adah
The war against corruption that was started by President Muhammadu Buhari has received a boost as a non-governmental organization, Fair Society Initiative, has embarked on roads shows, distribution of fliers and massive membership recruitment to convince Nigerians to shun corruption and build a fairer society for the benefit of all Nigerians.
FAIR SOCIETY INITIATIVE & Citizen Campaign Against Poverty and Corruption (CACPAC) is an initiative for a just, fair and more humane society. The group is behind the latest campaign against corruption and creation of a fair society. Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja may have come across these campaigners with their branded cars while adorning their equally branded T-shirts on the streets sharing fliers and broadcasting their message to passersby.
LEADERSHIP correspondent encountered them recently at Utako, Abuja and wanted to know more about their campaign. The leader of the team, Sarah Paul Dodo told LEADERSHIP what the group is all about. She said, “We are here as a group, about to launch a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called “Fair Behaviour Inititiative” (FBI).
The reason behind the initiative to float FBI is simply the gross deviation from the norms and values of our society which is manifesting in the rising wave of corruption, mistrust, social vices and disorder in our dear country today. We want to float it as an enlightenment platform to educate and sensitise people on the need to go back to the values that used to be the bond amongst our peoples in the past; To let them know that all of us owe it a duty to do good; To be fair to others as we want from them in our relationships with one another; that even though we come from different ethnic and religious background, we should uphold the principle of equity and fairness; and above all begin to have change of attitude from top to bottom and cultivate the values of love, tolerance and unity because only that way lies the future of this great country.
“We are preaching the gospel of change in line with the ideology of change the society together for better’ upon which our organisation is to be found, and it coincidentally falls in tune with the government’s campaign, and we are happy about that. The truth is that, having realised the enormity of the danger posed by the corruption that has engulfed the country, we felt it as a responsibility to stand up against it, and we are going to do this through sensitisation and mobilisation even at the grassroots to help facilitate the change we need for a just society. The change must start with everybody, including you and me here, irrespective of status or location, not just the people in government. We just want to see that happen, not that we want to please anybody or seek favour from them. Thus we are in total support of the anti-corruption crusade. However, in doing that, we urge that it be handled in fairness to all, with transparency and accountability being our watchwords.”
The NGO said that it wants Nigerians to join them in the anti-corruption and fair society campaign. She explained criteria for membership. She said, “It is open to all irrespective of status or location. All one need to do is apply in person or by writing to our office in Abuja, as captured in the handbills we are giving out to people now, indicating interest. Our contacts can be found there too.”
The handbills shared by the group contain more information about the agenda of the group. According to the handbill, “Fair Society Initiative is a citizen volunteer campaign for a better society.
We at fair society initiative believe that the basic solution to all problems of human society is located within the context on interpersonal interactions. We know that once a majority adopt fairness in their dealings with one another, human society will automatically change for the better.
Every interaction that is built on fairness results in a win win situation for all parties.Every situation, every relationship that has fairness as its soul will bring peace, friendship, growth, happiness to all parties while the opposite of unfairness brings anger hostility, misery and war.
“Therefore, fair dealing is the very foundation of all humane and progressive societies. A marriage in which the couples treat each other fairly will last but a marriage in which unfairness is the norm will crash. A business in which the partners are fair to one another and to their customers will thrive but a business which deals with unfairness will crash.
A country in which the leaders are fair to the citizenry will be Eldorado, but one in which the citizens are brutally treated will remain a horror movie for all concerned. This is the difference between North Korea and Finland or Norway. This is all the difference between countries of Europe and countries of Africa.
The so-called good countries recognize their citizens as assets and treat them fairly while the other countries regard their citizens as burdens and as such treat them unfairly. Crime, instability, insecurity and corruption are the result of the practice unfairness while peace,growth, security and development is the product of the conscious practice of fairness.
“The adoption of fair practices by any society is logical, it is necessary and it is an investment that yields the dividends of abetter society for all. The practice of fairness simply involves putting oneself in the shoes of others and treating them as you would want to be treated. Who wants to be cheated? Who wants to be insulted,humiliated or diminished? Who wants his children to be out of school?
Who wants to live in dirt and squalor? Who wants to be sent to the war front without bullets? Who will like to be a patient in a hospital without light, without drugs and without staff? I guess no one. So to understand how to treat others we simply take how we would like to be treated and then treat others that way.”
According to the handbill, the slogan of the organization is “Work make I work, Chop make I chop, Live make I live, make Country Good”,which LEADERSHIP was told encapsulates what the group want to achieve with the campaign
“Fair treatment of one another and fair behavior is the major difference between a good society and a bad one. Fair behavior is an investment everyone can make without cost and immediately reap the benefits for themselves.
A fair society is the sum total of a fair behavior by individuals just as a wicked society is the sum total of wicked individual behavior.Once we adopt fairness as a social principle, then our group and individual lives become immeasurably better, then our society and nation will regain its lost glory”, the handbill explained.