The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, on Friday tasked the Federal Government to fight corruption for Nigeria to grow as a respectable nation.
Okoh, while delivering the Bishop’s Charge at the third session of the seventh Synod of the Diocese of Abuja, noted that the present state of corruption in the country had permeated every facet of the national life.
“With less corruption, many infrastructures will function and budgeted funds will be spent for the real purpose. In the course of time, there will be noticeable improvement.
“Actually, corruption is about a nation committing suicide, by installment. If it is not fought to a standstill, it will eventually consume everyone, including the perpetrators,’’ Okoh stressed. He explained that corruption was not only an attitudinal defect but indirectly encouraged by sectional and tribal identity and loyalty.
“It is undeniable that corruption exists in the politics, economic transactions, among those who run the bureaucracy of government, the police, the customs, the military, the church, education and banking,’’ he said.
Okoh noted that the most widely spread form of corruption had to do with money transaction, adding that Nigerians had elevated the value of money beyond a sensible limit.
“Due to the heightened tribal sensitivity, whoever is able to steal from any source returns to a hero’s welcome in his tribal enclave where he is hailed as an ‘illustrious son or daughter’ of the land.
“This is why efforts to combat it have ended up being discredited by those whose sons and interests have been stepped upon. This is even so with electoral fraud,’’ he noted.
Speaking on the sides of the synod, Most Rev. John Onaiyekan, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, urged the Federal Government to properly utilise the remaining one year of its administration.
“The major job they have with the one year left is to ensure that the next election is free, fair and peaceful,’’ Onaiyekan told newsmen.
The synod, which featured many government dignitaries and religious leaders, had its theme as: “In times like this‘’ as drawn from the Bible in Esther Chapter 4 verse 14.