Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and the Acting Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu has identified Child Creativity as an essential tool in the fight against corruption.
The duo acknowledged that children demonstrate acute awareness of what goes on around them as depicted in paintings and literary works displayed during the opening of ‘A Thousand and One Faces of Corruption’ exhibition, themed ‘Enhance the Heritage, Advance the Future’ which held penultimate Saturday at the Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
The Art Exhibition is the 2017 Vision of The Child (VOTC) project, occasioned as part of activities marking the ‘Lagos at 50 celebration’.
The Nobel Laureate wondered at the ignorance of those who believe that children lack the powers of observation and discernment regarding adult behaviours and happenings in society.
While commending the children for their art works, Soyinka who noted that Nigeria will be morally better as children challenge their creativity early in life and provide an outlet for those observations and feelings for which they sometimes seek the means of expression.
In his remarks, Magu who declared the occasion opened, informed participants that apart from investigation and prosecution of offenders, the Commission is mandated to educate and enlighten the public on the evils of corruption, economic and financial crimes as ways to preventing their occurrences.
He said he regarded the painting exhibition as one way of enlightenment, as some of the subjects of the paintings show the ways adults engage in corrupt practices and their effects on society.
According to Magu, “my views of the Nigerian child, from the across the plains, the hills, the forests and the swamps of Nigeria are those of innocence and boundless creativity. However, like most of the older generation, many of our youths seem also to be trapped in cocoons of corruption, which have been built around them.
However, Professor Soyinka’s Vision of the Child project and the sheer breadth and depth of these paintings by these youngsters, demonstrate very well that our children have an acute awareness of what is going on around them and are breaking free of the shackles of corruption.”
“These paintings speak to all strata of our society and to every flank of the war against corruption… The vision I see so eloquently expressed in these wonderful pieces of art is that of the irrepressible Nigerian spirit, refusing to be put down and reaching out for the Nigeria of our collective dreams: the Nigeria where our commonwealth is used for our common good and not looted by a few greedy, self-centered lot.”
Magu reiterated the unrelenting spirit and courage of the Commission and its staff to carry through despite massive resources deployed by corruption to fight back at EFCC.
According to him, “we draw strength and encouragement to carry on from the likes of these children and Professor Wole Soyinka; we draw the courage to soldier on from millions of ordinary Nigerians whose only desires are for equity and justice”.