Monthly Archives: November 2012

When a Lady Says NO

Despite centuries of men being around women, the female folks have still remained a puzzle to men. It is not unusual to hear a man announce in frustration that he just can’t understand women. In the gatherings and chats of men, talks on women abound. Some ill informed men have even assumed experts on the opposite sex and often try to unravel mysteries about women to their fellow men.

Often, one gets questions from men, like, ‘if a woman says no, does she really mean it?’ On a question like this, you are sure to get various views backed by instances of experiences from men. But when a woman says no to a man’s advances, does she actually mean her objections? There may be no fast rule answer to this question. For I seen ladies who said no, no and no to some of my friends’ advances and later turned around and said yes. I bet you many men would come up with varied answers to this question. Though unfortunate, it is not uncommon for some men to describe women’s way of reasoning as ‘chicken kind’. This mentality to greater extent influences how some men view women’s responses.

It is also true that many men would say that when a woman says no to a man’s advances be sexual or for short or long time relationship, she might indirectly be saying yes. However, this mentality amongst men is sure responsible for many cases of rape of women around the world. Some men just can’t take no for an answer from women to their sexual advances and in turn rape them and then later justify it by stating that the women led them on even though these women had verbally declined such sexual advances especially at the time or at all the times they were made.

Many men have had this idea that rapes are most times perpetuated by strangers who often lurk around dark alley waiting for unsuspecting women to take advantage of. Statistics have shown that 74 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by assailants well known to their victims. Approximately 28 percent of rape victims are raped by their husbands, 35 percent by an acquaintance, and 17 percent by a relative other than spouse. This shows that majority of rape cases are carried out by men who do not respect the wishes or opinions of their women or any other woman, it doesn’t matter the kind of relationship they have with these women.

When a man assumes that a no means yes, a lot can go wrong. Statistics shows that 1 in 15 rape victims contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as a result of being raped. 1 in 15 rape victims become pregnant as a result of being raped. United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources around the world showed that more than 250,000 cases of male- female rape are recorded by police annually.

Rape is not just about un-wanted sex, rape is all about violence. It is a highly traumatic experience and like other serious traumas, it has negative effects on those who survive it. Besides rape, there are many other forms of violence that result from the unwillingness of men to respect the views or wishes of women. There is nothing wrong for a man to desire a woman perhaps for a relationship. However, if everyman chooses to become violently aggressive to actualize that which he desires with a woman, I assume that the female folks would long have become extinct.

To woo a woman and realize that wish one wishes from a woman with her consent is very possible. It is important that one doesn’t get wrong information about how a woman thinks or responds. Relying on myths and stereotype that are spreaded around by ill informed men for information about women, will get one the wrong results. A woman is a human being. Every human is unique in interest, how he or she thinks and how he or she deals with others. It is very important one learns to learn and understand how the other thinks and other marks about the other’s personality.

There are many good books on understanding the general psychology of women. These books offer informed scientific information on questions that have puzzled some of us about women. It is better to be informed and get the results one desires than dwell and act in ignorance and destroy the lives of others and perhaps end up in jail due to poor judgment of how a woman thinks.

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Safe water and sanitation in Nigeria

– BY Jide Ojo.

Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

—From the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by English Poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This poem paints the picture of the water situation in Nigeria. The late iconic Afro Beat musician, Fela Aniikulapo Kuti, in one of his classics said, ‘Water, he no get enemy’. Water is essential to life as roughly 70 per cent of an adult’s body is made up of water while health specialists are of the opinion that while one may stay off food for some time, it is impossible to stay off water for too long. Otherwise one will become dehydrated and die. The availability of safe drinking water in Nigeria is very appalling. It is saddening that many Nigerians have to bear the burden of sourcing their own water for domestic and industrial use. Urban centres do not have adequate chlorinated pipe-borne water while rural communities have to depend on streams, rain and well water for their water need.

Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, in an address during the launch of Safe Water for Africa recently said, “Current statistics of our water coverage in Nigeria are not very pleasing as only 58 per cent of the population have access to safe drinking water.” Water and Sanitation Summary Sheet from the United Nations Children’s Fund revealed, among other facts, that access to safe water and sanitation was a major challenge in Nigeria and that water and sanitation coverage rates in the country were amongst the lowest in the world. Moreover, Nigeria is currently not on track to reach the Millennium Development Goals targets of 75 per cent coverage for safe drinking water and 63 per cent coverage for basic sanitation by the year 2015.

A desk study carried out by the Water and Sanitation Programme shows that poor sanitation costs Nigeria N455bn (US$3bn) each year. Statistics shows that 70 million Nigerians use unsanitary or shared latrines while 32m have no latrine at all and defecate in the open. Nigeria is said to rank third on the list of countries with inadequate supply of water and sanitation coverage globally. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Godknows Igali, reportedly said at the 11th Session of Development Partners Coordination Meeting that the World Health Organisation and UNICEF Report for 2012 ranked Nigeria third behind China and India as countries with the largest population without adequate water and sanitation.

This situation has led to high incidence of waterborne diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera, river blindness, and Hepatitis A, among others. Available statistics also show that more than 3.4 million people die every year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes. Ninety nine per cent of these deaths are said to occur in developing countries. Water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through diseases than any war claims through guns. In fact, experts claim that lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.

It is not as if government has been folding its arms, though. In January 2011, the Federal Government launched the water road-map, a blueprint that describes the government’s objectives in developing the nation’s water resources between 2011 and 2025. The plan includes the promises that 75 per cent of Nigerians will have access to potable water by 2015, and 90 per cent by 2020. With the launch of the plan, President Jonathan’s administration announced the availability of special intervention funds for several projects. They include drilling one motorised borehole in each of the 109 senatorial districts, rehabilitating 1,000 dysfunctional hand pump boreholes in 18 states, supplying and installing 10 special water treatment plants, and completing all abandoned urban/semi-urban water supply projects. All of these and more were to be completed within 2011, with officials describing them as “a quick measure to accelerate water coverage”. Going to two years now, most of these short-term targets have not been met, though a number of projects are on-going.

The Director of Water Quality and Sanitation in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Dr. Obioha Agada, recently disclosed that Nigeria had recorded 40 per cent sanitation coverage, up from 32 per cent that had spanned two decades. In spite of this however, 70 million people in the country still lacked access to improved sanitation. In a March 2012 article, Ameto Akpe of Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting, observed: “Nigeria, in the past two decades, has not been able to keep up with the global and regional average rate of increase in water coverage. For the Nigerian government to deliver on its promise of 75 per cent coverage by 2015, access must increase by 17 percentage points within the next three years.”

According to experts, in overcoming the challenge of water and sanitation in Nigeria there are issues of legislation, structure, finance, planning and attitudes to contend with. Significant annual investments are needed to address water and sanitation problems in the country. The MDG Office says $2.5bn (about N375bn) is needed to meet the nation’s water and sanitation targets between 2011 and 2015, while government notes that an extra N200bn is further required to provide additional development in Dams with hydropower components amongst others. The idea as presented by the Federal Government, experts observed, is to fund the water road map via direct public and private sector financing, in which, budgetary appropriations as well as cost sharing arrangements with states, local councils and communities would be the public proposed fund-raising approach, while private funding will be accessed via multilateral credit, loans and internally generated revenue. It is noteworthy that donor support to the water sector is estimated at less than three percent of needed resources.

Unfortunately, there has been a steady decline in budgetary allocations to water and sanitation. In 2010, the Federal Government budgeted N112bn for water and sanitation but by 2011, budgetary allocations had dropped to N62bn. For 2012, the budget for water is only N39bn. Mercifully, this has increased to N47.8bn in the 2013 budget. This, however, is still a far cry from the amount needed to make any appreciable impact. However, as the Water Resources minister recently disclosed, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and its agencies appears to have been aggressively making efforts to tackle the problem of water supply through the water supply and sanitation reform programme with support from the European Union, the African Development Bank, the Chinese Water Supply Initiative, and the Japanese International Corporation Agency.

One hopes all these initiatives will bear good fruits and make access to safe drinking water and sanitation easy and affordable. However, our individual and collective attitude to water and sanitation facilities must also change. Oftentimes, we waste water that should have been conserved, refuse to pay water bills and sometimes vandalise water pipelines and borehole facilities. This is wrong. Even the way we dispose off water sachets and bottles as well as other solid wastes is unhygienic and should be changed.

Culled from Punch Newspapers.

The Lies Men Tell

Lies come cheap especially in men’s relationships with women. I wonder if there is any man who hasn’t told a lie to his woman. Some tell lies so often that you cant tell when they are actually speaking the truth. Why do some men feel comfortable telling lies to their women, even when it is said that truth sets one free?

Often times I hear men say that woman preferred to be told lies for women seem more comfortable with it than truth. Is this idea a product man’s evolutionary experience or liars just simply recruiting more liars? I remember the many times some of my friends had told lies to their women because they thought telling them the truth would be unpleasant for they were afraid to face the consequences of their actions.

While it is true that both sexes play the games of lies, are lies not harmful to our relationships especially with the one, one has sworn to be with till death do one apart? Can one regain trust lost as a result of discovered lies told by one? Especially to those who easily believe one because of their trust in one?
Should one continue with lies to hold onto a relationship? Is it really worth being called a love relationship? Perhaps one may have entered into such a relationship because of some selfish motivations. Or are there inadequacies that one seeks to hide by hiding behind lies?

The truth has a way of coming out especially when one makes a habit of telling lies. A relationship built on truth out lives one which is not. If we do that which we are supposed to do, would there be opportunities to tell lies? If we flee from the temptations that could harm our relationships, would there be something to cover up?

In relationships, it is important one creates environment that encourages ones partner to speak the truth without fear of retribution or rejection. How one responds to one’s partner’s openness, goes a long way in determining how forth coming ones partner will be with the truth next time. While we have the capacity to do that which is right or make right choices; at times, we do not due to weaknesses and we may end up doing those things that cause us to be ashamed of telling the truth.

Truth is a choice. It is a product of the decision one makes. Unfortunately, there are those who have made a habit of telling lies. You never can tell where you stand with them on any issue. I feel sad for those whom have found themselves in relationships with these kinds of persons. Can one tell the many times they had cheated on one? The many broken promises? The true intentions they hold for one?

I hope we learn from the many broken relationships around and avoid their pitfalls. Indeed making lies a part of the foundation, is one of the reasons why some homes are no more.

LIFE’S BAGGAGE

Life throws at one, unpleasant situations at times. Some of which leaves one confused and sapped. At times, the worries that come with them are capable of stealing ones sleep, make one oblivious of the world around one and leave ones thoughts constantly spinning round for solutions. Imagine the feeling of helplessness that grips one in situations or challenges of which despite ones many modest efforts to resolve, nothing seem to work out at all? Perhaps, your problem is not being able to find a good job despite many attempts after many years leaving school; or, perhaps, a beloved has been really ill and you are at loss on how to help him or her despite the many trips with him or her to a few hospitals in the past or could it be about issues you face at work? Indeed, life’s challenges could be many!

While it’s true that if one continues to thrive with unwavering efforts, a problem or rather, challenge that looks insurmountable yesterday could become a celebrated victory today, but can life be the same accepting to live with those that defile ones efforts no matter how big or small the problems are? Can one live with the nagging pain of a splinter caught in a finger? To live with an ‘un-solvable’ problem, is it to overcome it?

How people respond to problem is diverse, but what drives their responses? Why would one take his or her own life in a bid to escape his or her problems? Can one truly escape ones troubles by taking one owns life? These questions, I do not have answers to. But I do know that which life has taught me, that is, no matter how big ones troubles are, even if they are strong enough to pull down the skies and leave one drenched in cascading tears, it is only a matter of time, they shall pass!

Aren’t men born to overcome problems? Are there situations of life that are hopeless cases? Couldn’t man’s striving efforts make a difference about them someday? Look at the many inventions man has brought to make life easy, before these inventions, were problems that hunted man, some even taking his life at will. Think about polio, small pox, and other deadly disease; think about the wasted hours spent on walking long distances or the significant efforts required to send messages across far away lands. Today, many of these problems are no more.

Can hope ever be lost? Do we need to give up on our tomorrow? Hope lights our path unto our journey of tomorrow. If one remains hope and do not give up, I am hopeful one shall find solution to the problem that has befallen one. Also, learn to ask for help when you can’t help yourself; you never can tell the helping hands that may be willing to reach out.

MEDIA AND ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADE IN NIGERIA

BY AFOLAYAN EMMANUEL AYODELE

INTRODUCTION

Corruption remains a symptom of a poorly functioning state as witnessed in most developing countries such as Nigeria. Indeed, those who give and receive bribes can drain a nation’s wealth; leaving little for its poorest citizens. Highly corrupt countries like Nigeria often face particular challenges even when controlled by reform-minded rulers.

The history of corruption in Nigeria is strongly rooted in the over 29 years of military rule. All the military regimes subdued the rule of law, facilitated the looting of the public treasury, prohibited free speech and instituted a secret culture in the running of government business. The period of this military regime witnessed a total reversal and destruction of every good thing in the country (Ribadu, 2006). Corruption became the dominant guiding principle for running affairs of the country. When military seized power from democratically elected governments, pervasive corruption was cited as the justification. It is clear that military regimes were worse than the civilian regimes as far as corruption was concerned.

The harshest decree ever promulgated by the military in Nigeria was Decree 4 of 1984, which succeeded in rolling up defamation, sedition, and proscription laws – all in one (Malunzen 1995). Apart from other laws such as defamation, sedition and contempt of court, there were other laws against the practice of journalism that are contained in the penal code.
During democratic process, political activities assumed a dangerous dimension as contestants see their victory as the ticket to loot and amass wealth. The civilian administration of 1979 – 1983 was bedeviled with wanton waste, political thuggery and coercion, disrespect for the rule of law and free for all looting of public funds through white elephant projects. Despite the presence of EFCC, ICPC and other enforcement agencies during Obasanjo’s regime, the administration was not spared of corrupt acts. Specifically, corruption became legitimized, especially during the Babangida and Abacha regimes (1985-1998), with huge revenues, but wasteful spending, and nothing to show in terms of physical developments (Nwanka, 1999).

A critical element of a country’s anti-corruption program is an effective media. Media in this case is either Print or Broadcasting Media. The media raises public awareness about corruption, its causes, consequences and possible remedies. The persistence of Transparency International (2002) in setting Nigeria among the bottom five nations in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) since 1995 is an indication that media has not performed this role effectively (Sowumi, et al 2012). This study is of relevance not only because it brings to the fore the role of media in curbing corruption in Nigeria but it also identifies the obstacles being faced by media in the fight against corruption.

AIM OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on the anticorruption crusade championed by the media in curbing corruption in Nigeria.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: AGENDA SETTING THEORY

The ability of the media to pre-determine what issues are important gives the media an edge to fight corruption since they can easily lay emphasis on the atrocities being committed by public figures in the country. According to Folarin (200:75), ‘Agenda Setting Theory does not ascribe to the media the power to determine what we actually think, but it does ascribe to them the power to determine what we are thinking about’.
The theory is relevant to this paper because the media can utilize the elements of this theory through increasing the frequency of reportage of corrupt activities in the country; giving prominence to corrupt activities through headline display, picture and layout in newspaper, magazines, film, graphics, or timing on radio and television.
The power of the media to expose corrupt acts through the elements of this theory will go a long way in reducing corrupt acts in the country. If public figures know that their corrupt acts will be giving a lot of publicity, they are likely to have a rethink before stealing public funds.

MEANING OF CORRUPTION
According to Salisu (2000:68), the simplest definition of corruption is that ‘it is the misapplication of public resources to private ends’. For example, public officials may collect bribes for issuing passports or visa, for providing permits and licenses , for authorising passage of goods at sea/airport, for awarding contracts or for enacting regulations designed to create artificial scarcity.

Macrae (1982:28) on the other hand sees corruption as “an arrangement that involves an exchange between two parties (the demander and the supplier) which (i) has an influence on the allocation of resources either immediately or in the future; and (ii) involves the use or abuse of public or collective responsibility for private ends.” Sternberg (2000:43) relates corruption with bribe when he states that a “bribe is an incentive offered to encourage someone to break the rules of the organization he nominally represents and deliver an (unfairly) favorable outcome.”
Corrupt acts are regarded as criminal by many high-income countries because the bribe-recipient’s betrayal of trust with his employer, when practiced systemically by high-ranking public officials, compromises the “development of fair and efficient markets” (Boatright, 1999). In broader terms, Windsor and Getz, (2000:112) define corruption as “socially impermissible deviance from some public duty or more generally some ideal standard of conduct”

CAUSES OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA
Several reasons have been adduced for corruption in Nigeria, one of which is the sudden disappearance of good moral and ethical values. Nwaobi (2004) affirms that Nigeria must be one of the very few countries in the world where a man’s source of wealth is of no concern to his neighbours, the public or the government. Wealthy people who are known to be corrupt are regularly courted and honoured by communities, religious bodies, social clubs and other private orgaizations. This implies that people who benefit from the largesse of these corrupt people rarely ask questions. Sociological and/or cultural factors such as customs, family pressures on government officials and ethnicity constitute potential causes of corruption.

The most annoying thing is that honest and dedicated public servants, who have not accumulated dirty wealth, do not command much respect from the society. These attitudes serve to encourage a new-breed of public servants who engage in corrupt practices. A weak enforcement mechanism (e.g. lack of judicial independence; weak prosecutorial institutions) is another major cause of corruption in Nigeria.
The forces, which deter corruption, are often weak as some, if not most, of the law enforcement agencies are themselves corrupt. In addition, rulers, politicians and civil servants are highly corrupt, and professional organizations may be in capable of sanctioning their members (Sowumi, et al).
It is also clear that the process of gaining power in Nigeria is either by armed force or the influence of money. Jimo & Wade (2001) attributed corruption in Nigeria to over-centralization of power, lack of media freedom to expose scandals, the impunity of well connected officials, and absence of transparency in public fund management.

Ayoola (2008) is of the opinion that if democracy is to survive and be a fruitful concept, the role of the media in sustaining it through anti-corruption crusade couldn’t be overemphasized. He stated further that certain issues must be placed at the forefront of such endeavour. Primary of these is the proper understanding of the concept of democracy by all, and the nature of the media practice that can nurture democracy and create favourable environment for it to thrive. He further noted that the immediate challenges before the media right now was to crave for a conducive environment for democracy to take root and become sustainable through the enthronement of a culture of freedom of speech and freedom of expression; government accountability and qualitative civil society in direct participation in governance.

FACTORS AFFECTING MEDIA PERFORMANCE IN COMBATING CORRUPTION
How effectively media work and report on corruption depends on a number of critical factors such as freedom of media professionals to access, verify and publish accurate information, and independence of media houses and their ability to access independent sources of financing. Competition, outreach and credibility of media are other important factors affecting media performance (Nogara, 2009). Each of these is examined accordingly as shown below:

• Freedom of expression – Media freedom of expression is essential to investigate and report incidences of corruption in a professional, effective and ethical manner. Freedom House, which monitors the free flow of information to and from the public, measures press freedom in terms of the degree to which laws and government regulations influence news content; the degree of political influence or control over the context of the news system; the economic influences on the media exerted either by government or private entrepreneurs, and the degree of oppression of the news media. Press freedom is positively correlated with lower levels of corruption (Brunetti & Weder, 2003).

• Access to information – Access to information is at the heart of transparency and public accountability. Information flows may facilitate public oversight of government and increase the accountability of politicians for bad conduct. In most countries, citizens receive the information they need through the media, which serve as the intermediaries that collect information and make it available to the public. Without reliable access to information, the media are severely limited in their capacity to exercise their public accountability function. Laws and regulations, such as “Official Secret Acts” and similar devices, are often used by governments to limit press access to sensitive information for reason of national security in order to balance the citizens’ right to know and the State’s right and duty to protect its security.

• Ownership – Private ownership is often associated with higher levels of government accountability and performance. Research has shown that government ownership of media restricts information flows to the public with negative effect on citizens’ rights, government effectiveness, and corruption; alternatively, increased private ownership of the media-through privatization or encouragement of entry – can advance political and economic goals. Competition from private media assures that alternative views are supplied to voters and prevents state-owned media from distorting the information they supply too heavily so that voters obtain, on average, unbiased and accurate information. Studies carried out found strong evidence that competition in the media has a significant impact on the reduction of corruption, and competition can even be a stronger determinant than freedom of expression.

• Credibility – People’s trust in independent media is essential to compel action against corruption from the authorities or the public. Media reputation in this regard is hard to establish. Journalists need to earn public trust and confidence by demonstrating their independence, objectivity and professionalism each and every day. Private media have an especially hard time to establish their credibility in Nigeria where people are more reluctant to trust new sources of political information. Government owned media have historically a wider access, especially in remote areas, and a well-established reputation. Private media, on the other hand, struggle to access important and reliable political information and have not always the freedom to publish it.
The private media’s primary aim to publish and sell news also feeds the public perception of a media bias against the government, especially in cases of corruption.

ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADE BY THE MEDIA IN COMBATING CORRUPTION
Stapenhurst (2000) affirms that a critical element of a country’s anticorruption program is an effective media. The media has a dual role to play: it not only raises public awareness about corruption, its causes, consequences and possible remedies but also investigates and reports incidences of corruption aiding other oversight bodies.
According to him, the way in which media serves as an impediment to corruption can be divided into tangible and intangible effects.

Tangible effects is made up of the readily identifiable way in which the news media perform and achieve some sort of visible outcomes that can be attributed to particular news story or series of stories on such subjects as: launching of investigation by authorities; scrapping of a law or policy and that foster a climate ripe with opportunities for corruption; impeachment or forced resignation of a crooked politician and firing of an official; launching of judicial proceeding and issuing of public recommendation by a watchdog body like transparency international.
He referred to intangible effects as those checks on corruption, which are inevitably the bye product of hard hitting independent news and can be characterised by broadened sense of accountability amongst politicians, public bodies and institutions.

The tangible ways in which media can serve as obstacle to corruption can take a variety of forms. Most spectacular among them is when corrupt bureaucrats or public office-holders are impeached, prosecuted or forced to resign after their misdeeds are exposed to public light. However, journalism also acts directly to curb corruption in other, less spectacular but, arguably, equally important ways. Reporting, for example, may prompt public bodies to launch formal investigations into allegations of corruption. Furthermore, news accounts disseminate the findings of public anti-corruption bodies, thus reinforcing the legitimacy of these bodies and reducing the ease with which interested parties who hold power can meddle in their work.

Conversely, when journalism exposes flaws and even corruption within the various bodies of the state (the courts, police and anti-corruption task forces), corruption is put on check. If the resulting public pressure leads to a reform of those bodies, the long–term effectiveness and potential of the media to act as a counterweight against corruption is strengthened.
There are cases when reporting on corrupt or ethically questionable behaviour does not result in immediate investigations, prosecutions or resignations, but does arouse the ire of the public, which exercises another form of sanction: electoral defeat at the ballot box for a single elected office holder or an entire government.
Journalism can also expose flaws in policy, laws or regulation that foster a climate ripe for corruption, thus creating pressure for reform. And even before anything has been published, mere inquiries by reporters about apparent wrong doing can elicit pre–emptive responses by authorities eager to protect the public image of their institution before any allegations is been aired.
The most obvious examples of media potential for curbing corruption can be seen when politicians or other senior public officials lose their jobs as a consequence of the public outcry or legal proceedings that follow the fearless reporting on corruption. Examples of this kind of outcome are not hard to find-particularly from Nigeria where a surge in media reporting on corruption charges (certificate forgery) has helped to force former speaker of house of representative – Ibrahim Salisu and former President of senate – Evan Ewerem to resign their positions.
Sometimes, too, journalists’ stories can play a critical role in reinforcing the effectiveness of public anticorruption bodies like EFCC and ICPC-even when the stories in question are not, strictly speaking, investigative reports that reveal wrongdoing of some kind . Simply reporting in a regular, detailed way on the work and findings of these bodies can reinforce public scrutiny of them and, hence, the independence of such bodies from vested interests within the power structure that might otherwise be tempted to interfere in their work.
The speculation about government interference in the activities of EFCC was prominent in the dailies and magazines during Obasanjo regime.
Journalists’ immediate interests are served by their work in that they provide reporters and their outlets with strong, dramatic stories to pursue and publish. The interests of the anticorruption bodies are equally served because reporting on their activities builds public support for their work-and, hence, reinforces their legitimacy-creating a climate that may make politicians who are the subject of their less inclined to meddle in or undermine their operations.

Another beneficial side effect of the publicity that journalists bring to the work of such bodies is that it may encourage witnesses to wrongdoing to step forward and testify about what they know.
Media are at the forefront of independently sourcing stories about corruption in Government. It was the media that exposed the web of corruption in the banking sector, compelling the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry out its own investigation. The media built the requisite public pressure for the CBN to institute measures against erring banks and initiate the reforms that resulted in the much -acclaimed reforms in the banking sector.

In 2005, a newspaper report revealed alleged impropriety by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in the sale of government houses in Lagos. The story gained prominence when influential news papers picked it up. This resulted in direct intervention by the President, who cancelled the allocations. Denying any involvement in the scandal, the President took action and ordered that the process be started all over.
The legislative arm of the government has not been spared media attention and exposure with some losing their seats following media campaigns (Egbuna, 2007).
A good example is the case of former Speaker of House of Representative, Patrichia Ette who was exposed on her furniture allowance scandal. It was also the media that exposed Chuba Okadigbo, Dimeji Bamkole and of recent giving prominence to Farouk Lawan atrocity.
In addition to information from anti-graft agencies, the media are encouraging public participation in the fight against corruption. The restoration of democracy has been the wakeup call for the media to recognize human rights as fundamental and they have ever since been playing a captain’s role in safeguarding it.
They have popularized the notion of people’s right to information and creating opposition to all forms of secrecy and immunity for government officials. Because of the work of the electronic media, the citizens are becoming increasingly aware of their rights and how the Constitution protects these rights. It was the media that was at the fore front during the campaign for Freedom of Information Act in the country (media Rights Agenda 2011).

Through constant vigilance and reports on cases of infringement of rights, and by exposing brutality and repression, the media have caused a significant rise in public awareness of corrupt issues. Of particular relevance is the focus on the abduction and rape of some female undergraduates in Enugu in 2005. Similarly, the media especially the newspapers were responsible for exposing a Yoruba Traditional Ruler in Osun State who raped a corpse member posted to his locality The tenacity of Radio Nigeria through its human rights programme, Know Your Rights, put pressure on the police to investigate the report and bring charges..
Specifically, Radio Nigeria has another programme designed to fight corruption and encourage service delivery in the Police Force; called Police Diary. The live, interactive programme takes telephone calls from members of the public from across Nigeria on illegal activities of the police. The complaints are addressed immediately on the programme by the relevant police commissioners or Divisional Police Officers. Until December (2006) the programme was for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja audience only but because of its popularity, it became a network programme available at the same time to listeners on all thirty-five Radio Nigeria stations (Egbuna , 2007).

Constraints of Media in Anti-corruption Crusade
Although there is freedom of information now in the country which means the media in Nigeria are given the constitutional duty of upholding the responsibility and accountability of government to the people, they still lack the power to carry out this function as the Freedom of Information Act grants the media no specific freedom other than the right to freedom of expression enjoys by every citizen.
Also, there exist several laws that have negative effect on the functions of the media. Among these are the Official Secrets Act, Sections of the Criminal Code Act and the Defamation Act. The Freedom of Information Acts also contains several sections that increase the chances of non disclosure of information.
High incidence of poverty has made many journalists to seek for financial gratification before they perform their duty. Adesina (2008) reasoned that this group of journalists/media houses often tilts stories to favour those who have compromised them. They deliberately leave out the other side, or give the preferred side more prominence. They do bad jobs, writing and reporting deliberate untruth stories. Media watchers according to Sowumi et al (2010), have lamented that under pressure of ’envelope’ journalism, media houses have found themselves putting under carpet, important stories which would have unearthed and fought against acts of corruption. Owners of media houses most especially the privately owned media often interfere with free reporting of corruption cases where such involve their highly placed friend in public or private sector.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The role of the media is critical in efforts against corruption. As a result, there must be careful structuring of the relationship between anti-corruption officials and, in many cases, there must also be efforts to develop or enhance the capabilities of the media to ensure that they can function effectively as recipients of information about corruption, appraise such information in an independent manner, use it meaningfully as the basis of further communications and disseminate it to the general public.
Some of the critical issues that will enhance the role of media in curbing corruption are as follows:
The autonomy of the media is essential to enable it to assess Government information critically and objectively and to ensure its reports are credible to the population as a whole. Thus, Nigerian Government contacts with the media must be transparent, and they must not compromise the essential autonomy of the media, either in practice or in public perceptions.
For the media to assess anti-corruption efforts critically and independently they must possess adequate technical, legal, economic and other expertise. Training, awareness-raising and technical briefing of media personnel in anti-corruption efforts may also be useful.
Passage of Freedom of Information Bill is not enough; efforts need to be made to reverse this act to suite public needs. This will give legal cover to the media’s contributions towards the anti-corruption campaign.

The media should be encouraged to develop and enforce adequate standards of conduct regarding their professional competence and their objectivity so that they would avoid any temptations of accepting gifts, envelopes, fare or any other support that would interfere with their free reporting.
It is essential to raise awareness on the part of the media of the causes, costs, levels, types and locations of corruption in the country, as well as to explain the on-going efforts of all stakeholders against corruption.
Moreover, training in investigative journalism as area of specialisation is imperative for journalist in the war against corruption.

REFERENCES
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Boatright, J. (1999). Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 3rd Edition. Prentice-Hall. Retrieved on 27th July 2012 from from http://www.info.rights.com
Brunetti, A. & Weder, B. (2003). A free press is bad news for corruption. Retrived from htt//www.freepress.com.
Egbuna, B. (2007). Using the media to encourage transparency and disclosure: The Nigerian experience. A paper delivered at Broadcasting Association Regional Conference, Kenya.
Folarin, B. (2002). Theory of Mass Communication: An Introductory Text. Abeokuta: Link Publications.
Jimo, H. & Wade, D. (2001). West and West CentralAfrica in: Global Corruption Report. Berlin:
Macrae, J. (1982). Underdevelopment and the economics of corruption: A game theory approach. Retrived on 29 July, 2012 from http//www.worldevelop.org
Malunzen, N. (1995). The Court Room, The Newsroom, and the Law. Retrieved from: http://www.dspace.unijos.edu.ng/bitstream
Nogara, M. (2009). Role of media in curbing corruption: the case of Uganda under President Yoweri K. Museveni during the “no-party” system.” DESA Working Paper No. 72
Nwankwa A. (1999) .The Stolen Billions. Enugu: Frontline Publishers.
Nwaobi, G. (2004). Corruption and Bribery in the Nigerian Economy: An empirical investigation. Public Economics EconWPA. Retrieved on 30 July, 2012 from http://www.papers.ssrn.com
Ribadu, N, (2009). Capital Loss and Corruption: The Example of Nigeria. Testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, USA, M ay 19th May.
Salisu, M. (2000). Corruption in Nigeria. Lancaster University Management School Working Paper 2000/006. The LUMS Working Papers series. Retrived on 28 July, 2012 from http://www.lums.co.uk/publications Sodeinde, A. (2011). A free press is bad news for corruption. Retrieved on 29 July, 2012 from http//www.jpubee.conm.
Sowumi, F. Raufu, A. Oketokun, f. Salako, A & Usifoh, O. (2010). The Role of Media in Curbing Corruption in Nigeria. The Research Journal for Information Technology.
Stapenhurst, R. (2000). The media’s role in curbing corruption. A paper for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Sternberg E. (2000). Just Business: Ethics in Action. 2nd Edition: Oxford University Press, Oxford.Transparency International. Retrieved from: http://www.globalcorruptionreport.org.
Windsor D. & Getz K. (2000). Multilateral cooperation to combat corruption: normative regimes despite mixed motives and diverse values. Cornell

Ticking Biological Clock

Are you desperately searching for your Mr. Right or Mrs. Right? Wondering why he or she hasn’t come yet? Bothered that this year is almost fading out and still you haven’t found a suitable or a willing prospective marital partner to settle down with? Perhaps you are 35 plus in age and you are wondering whether you might end up remaining single for a long time since the right man or woman has not appeared?

I am not writing to tell you when he or she will show up today but to tell you that you should remain hopeful and continue to search. The truth remains that one who seeks, shall find someday. However, are you doing or saying the right kinds of things to get the one which you seek? Great relationship does not often begin like the way we see in the movies. Sometimes ones attitude or responses could be the reason why one hasn’t found the right person yet. Perhaps you attract the wrong set of prospective mates perhaps by the way you dress, your communication skill, the kind of friends you hangs out with or because of your inadequate mate hunting plan?

While it is possible to get everything right and still experience snags in finding Mr. Right or Mrs. Right, however; that doesn’t mean one should give up and ignore the necessary in ones quest to get that which one seeks which I am sure will eventually come. If thousands of men and women are able to get the mates they desire, get married every year, why not you? The truth is that there are arts to most activities in life. I encourage you to find out and learn the secret why it is working out for your friends and others. Talk to them and you will be amazed what you will learn. Learn more of this secret from good books on relationship especially those written by local authors. There are a few good websites that offer free advice on issues as this.

The road to realizing that which one seeks in life is full of bumps but if you are able to know what lies ahead, you wouldn’t make the mistakes that others have made. I know of a guy, when he meets a girl he really likes, he plays friends with her, only to tell her about his love for her when it is too late. He feels he is taking his time but he eventually ends up taking the whole time in the world. I know of girl who hardly bites her words and ends up communicating the wrong impression to the few nice guys that had come her way, whom had hoped that she was the marriage material they had been seeking.

There are a few things in life which one can grab by force; a mate may not be one of them. The exceptions are in situations of slavery and forced marriage; if you live in a civilized country, these options will not be available to you. So take the civilized route and get to your goal. I am hopeful that most who are seeking the right persons so as to settle down soon will eventually find whom they seek so far they are ready and willing to work towards realizing their goals.

Let one not be driven to making wrong choices because of ones fast ticking biological clock. It is better to remain single, happy and whole than end up an abusive relationship. Take a stock of the many people who are in abusive relationships and those who have died in it, I bet you would understand why I am taking this line of thought. As this year ticks away and you take stock of your achievements, do not be hard on your self that you have not yet found the ONE yet. You shall! I wish you the best.

Why Divorce?

There are a few things in life that puzzles one. I cannot help but wonder why couples, who used to swear to live by each other, kiss, make love and think about each other all day, suddenly, become irritants to each other. The lips that once professed love, now spill curses and despise. Why do humans change all of a sudden? Is love floatable? Does it come and go that easily? Today I am in love and tomorrow I am out of love with the one I have professed love to? What is love? Is it like the wind that blows past by? Is it like a drug of ecstasy that is powerful but temporary?

Every year, thousands of marriages take place around the world, so now is the equaling figure of marital divorces too. Have you attended a wedding before? Can you equate the expression of love and joy that goes with it especially those that flow from the wedding couple during wedding? Would you foresee a future for the couple of they being apart and divorced after the sacred vows of I dos that they expressed to each another?

The truth is that marriage is losing is sacredness in the eyes of some these days. It is becoming nothing more than a mere business merger, a human contract that is devoid of any sanctity. For some it is nothing more than a boy and a girl relationship, each, thinking of what he or she stands to get out of the relationship. Watch a few Hollywood romance movies, the advice some characters give to friends in troubled marital relationships, is to go for what will make them ‘happy,’ that is, if the relationship does not give them the happiness they seek at the moment, they can either end it or find someone who can.

Can marriage be free of challenges? Who says it is fun and crises free all the way? Must one chicken out so quickly when crises come? Is any human relationship devoid of conflicts or frictions? How can a couple who so freely profess love for each other before our eyes now tell us that they now feel that were not truly meant for each other ? That the marriage was a mistake? That they were not compatible? That they are negotiating divorce? I can’t help but wonder?

Look at the astronomical increase in the numbers of divorce figures in the country today. What are they reasons for it? Who is to blame? What went wrong? Has marriage changed face? Many may know one or two why this is so that many marriages are failing. How come some of us know the reasons why it is so and still we can’t make better of our marriages but watch them continue to slide down the cliff? How come some boast about being in their third, fourth, sixth marriages and even more, without shame for their failings? Isn’t that a pointer to the truth in the saying that some never learn from their mistakes? How does this set of people view marriage? Is it not a one night stand? Remain when the going is good?

Marriage is honorable. To throw it to the dogs, I mean courts, when all is not well should not be the ultimate solution. There are better avenues that one could consult. Speak to your pastor about it, reason with your spouse about the challenges that confront your marriage, talk to a counselor and pray about your challenges.
Even if you have met some one today that you think is all perfect and better than your husband or wife and for whom you wish to forsake your marriage and children for and perhaps remarry with, the truth remains that no marriage is made in heaven and no man or woman is perfect. Today you are high on his or her gestures of pre-marital romance just like you felt when you first met your estranged husband or wife. It is a matter of time, the bubble will burst and you shall see the other sides of the one you are thinking of being with or you have left other people for. Let’s learn to appreciate what we have.

I look forward to the day most couples grow old together, be good examples to their children on how to deal with marital issues. I look forward to when society will have very few broken homes and, no abandoned children on the streets due to the wrong choices of parents. I say very few broken homes because I know some have chosen a mind set of failure. Marriage is beautiful, let us not throw it to the dogs. Each individual is responsible for the success of his or her marriage to someone. There is never another to blame, never!