Three Visual Artists have emerged winners of the “Art for Integrity project” powered by Accountability Lab Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.
Out of 52 artists who voluntarily shared their creative work the Visual artists that include Vera Aye from Rivers State, Olayede Oluwakpomile and Adetolu Adewoye both from Lagos state, emerged winners

The Integrity Icon Summit and Award tagged,”Art for Integrity Exhibition,” is a maiden program under the Integrity Icon Nigeria with the aim of building a bridge between the comprehension and the expression of critical accountability issues.

The Programme Officer, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Kelly Osuji noted that the Art for Integrity Exhibition is focusing on anti-corruption using visual arts in creating awareness among citizens as part of activities making the 3021 International Day of Anti-corruption.

“The exhibition is aimed at creating a space for exchanges between artistic and cultural expressions that contributes to the promotion of the values of integrity.

“The goal of the exhibition is create a vibrant network of young visual artists that are collectively and actively pushing for integrity within and without government with inspired artwork towards open and better governance,” he said.

The Ambassador and Head Mission of the Sweden Embassy in Nigeria, Carl-Michael Grans, thanked Accountability Lab Nigeria the organisers of the Integrity Icon Summit and Awards for their consistency in building awareness, sharing knowledge and leading on conversations about integrity and transparency – two strong pillars that democracy stands on and that are clearly reflected in Swedish democratic structures and institutions.

“I can confidently reaffirm that the Government of Sweden is glad to remain associated with Accountability Lab and other credible organizations in Nigeria, as we continue our drive for democracy here and in different parts of the world.

“Sweden has a long-standing commitment to transparency and accountability. Combatting corruption and promoting strong democratic institutions is one of the 10 priority areas under the Swedish Government’s Drive for Democracy, which is our response to the global threat we see to democratic principles and the weakening of democratic institutions.

“We believe that a strong democracy with high integrity institutions, structure and people can create stability and security, which in turn are prerequisites for inclusive growth and economic prosperity.

“As I mentioned in my presentation during last year’s Integrity Icons Summit, the issues of integrity is not limited to Civil servants alone, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, businesses, private sectors and diplomatic communities must continue to strengthen human rights, push for equality, openness and freedom, ensure people’s participation and maintain rule of law in our countries.

“For this reason, I am delighted to see how this year’s Integrity Icon Summit has incorporated “Art” as a tool to promote integrity and to draw the consciousness of people towards building a value based nation.

“Beyond the colour, shape, texture, and overall beauty in art, we need to understand how effective art is for value based teaching, expression of culture, and conveying illustration about people and society.

“To the 52 artists who voluntarily shared their creative work, I would like to express my gratitude, as I urge you to continue to use your skills and creative minds to spotlight the critical subject of accountability and transparency.

“My warmest regards to all the shortlisted artists and selected winners that have emerged from the selection,” he said.

The Country Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Ode Friday remarked that “artists can now contribute towards what the Nigerian government is doing.

“Take for instance, bill boards in Nigeria should be reflecting accountability and integrity, and too people can begin to how do we build a foundational Nigeria where is built on strong peace, unity, justice and other reflection, we think artists can contribute to all of these.”

Speaking on his assessment on how well the current administration have fared in applying integrity in governance, he said, “I think the Government need to do more, with 200 million people, 36 states, there are lots of problems around, dealing with the Governors, dealing with the federal, the state and the Local Governments, I think there is a lot that needs to be done that is why we are also taking arts as a form of engaging people who can also contribute.

“But yes, I think the government need to do more, we have not been impressed with the fight against corruption, next week is going to be international day for anti-corruption, so, we need to do more and encourage the government to do more.

“The fight against corruption rely more on young people, because we have stronger population than the government, so let’s do all we need to do to support the government.”

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