The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has described the death of Professor Femi Odekunle, foremost criminologist, and member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), as big blow to the campaign to curb corruption in Nigeria.
In a statement, Dr. Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL, noted that the country has lost a brilliant scholar and a relentless crusader in the quest for democracy and good governance. “Very few Nigerians have been in the forefront and have shown as much commitment as Professor Odekunle in prosecuting the war against corruption in the country,” the statement said.
“For decades, Professor Odekunle preached the virtues of probity and accountability in the public and private sectors, as well as other areas of life, long before his last national assignment as a member of PACAC. Even under the current administration which he served, Professor Odekunle was unsparing in his occasional outbursts regarding consistent efforts by top government officials and their friends to sabotage the war against corruption. For such a remarkable personality, a true patriot who placed high premium on honesty and integrity and demonstrated it, our country has been grossly shortchanged by his exit.”
Onumah recalled the collaboration between AFRICMIL and PACAC on various activities over the years, noting that Professor Odekunle played an invaluable role in fostering the collaboration between both organisations. One of such collaborations, according to the statement, was a workshop in Abuja which was aimed at getting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to adopt whistleblowing and design a policy for effective implementation in their offices. “We have fond memories of the role Professor Odekunle played at this event. He not only sat through the two-day event but also masterfully steered sessions with his usually engaging frank and scholarly perspectives, Onumah said.”
“Professor Odekunle’s death has left a void in the anti-corruption community which would be hard to fill.”