Cultural Accountability and Collective Responsibility Against Corruption  

A traditional Ruler in  Kano, North West Nigeria, Zannan Kano, Alh. Tijjani Ado Bayero has joined calls for citizens to always speak with one voice against corruption, saying its consequences are far-reaching.  

Ado Bayero’s call came after anti-corruption crusader, Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre, (WAMAC) convened a Town Hall Meeting in the heart of Kano city.

WAMAC’s anticorruption train with funding from MacArthur Foundation, has been moving around the country’s six geo-political zones for more than four years and arrived in Kano again in April 2024. 

The Town Hall focused on “Harnessing Collective Action Against Corruption: Strengthening Public Perception and Attitudes.”

WAMAC’s partner, Freedom Radio Kano, 99.5, broadcasts investigative stories, one of which had the non-teaching trade union of the state university speaking up against corruption in the institution, resulting in the state government setting up an investigative panel that exposed alleged corrupt practices by the institution’s leadership.

Read More: WAMAC’s Moving Train on Anti-Corruption Brings Bottom-Up Approach to Kwara

Executive Director of WAMAC, Zubair Abdurra’uf Idris in his opening remark noted that  “lack of accountability, misconnect and mistrust among citizens and their leaders whether politicians or traditional institutions has generated a lot of hardship, hunger, diseases and further insecurity in the country today.”

He raised the issue about behaviours of the leadership and elites igniting corrupt tendencies in society.

“Few weeks ago many people thronged to the streets carrying placards for lack of basic necessities and hunger.” 

“Despite all these protests, only few governments roll out palliative measures to ameliorate the suffering of the masses. Our Honourables and Distinguished members of the legislative arm of government both at the state and national level, despite the economic meltdown are still conducting themselves in a flamboyant life that outstrips their earnings. These behaviors amid economic reality, no doubt stimulate anger and disobedience by the larger society.” the WAMACThe Executive Director emphasized the transformative potential of collective action in combating corruption in Nigeria

“Let us join hands to fight and reduce the menace of corruption. This task is not limited to anti-Corruption agencies, we too can make the change to the ugly narratives for the benefit of the future generation.“ Idris urged.

Corruption Goes Beyond Legislation

Guest Speaker, Prof. Hajara Umar Sanda, Faculty of Communication, Bayero University, Kano, further made it clear that the battle against corruption transcends mere legislative measures and law enforcement, underscoring the indispensable role of societal values and ethical conduct.

Prof.  Umar Sanda shared insights into the factors influencing public tolerance of corruption, citing economic, social, and political attitudes of the populace. She acknowledged the role of cultural norms and values in shaping corruption but stressed the importance of accountability in governance.  

“Societal inequality, impunity of corrupt individuals, and cultural norms influence public tolerance of corruption” she said.

Advantages of Collective Action

The Guest Speaker explained that despite the situation, unified action brings about sustainable efforts

“Collective action ensures long-term, self-sustaining anti-corruption measures by engaging all stakeholders”

“It promotes an environment where honesty and ethical conduct become societal norms.” Prof. Sanda said.


In a bold move, the Town Hall Participants from all walks of life, with a shared concern about corruption called for the creation of incentives for whistleblowers, recognizing their crucial role in curtailing corruption. They embraced a collective action approach, acknowledging the power of social norms and perceptions in changing attitudes towards corruption.

A resounding call for sustained partnerships – mutual, regional, and multinational – in amplifying the fight against corruption. 

The government, too, was urged to enact robust systems and policies to sustain and curtail corrupt tendencies and actions, ensuring a future where justice and integrity reign supreme.

 Next Steps

Wamac’s Moving Train while leaving Kano residents to continue pushing for accountability and collective action against corruption, has arrived in Abakaliki, the capital of Nigeria’s South East state of Ebonyi. 

The Town Hall in the state with the support of MacArthur Foundation focuses on Teacher Absenteeism in Ebonyi State’s Public Schools: Role of Communities in Addressing the Menace.

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