By Ade Olu
Religion, as the opium of the masses, has been identified as a strong weapon that can employed in the fight against corruption.
Resource Persons disclosed this in Awka, Anambra State, at a one day community engagement organized by the Muslim Community of University of Nigeria Nsukka, in collaboration with Bayero University Kano.
The event, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has as its theme: “Promoting Accountability and Anti-Corruption Campaign through behavioural change approaches”.
Addressing the gathering, a Christian cleric, Reverend Emmanuel Okoroafor, noted that corruption came to destroy the work of God, which was beautiful at the beginning.
He stressed the need for religious organizations to take serious action against corruption which has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society.
“We have been talking about corruption but we need to start taking action. If we must promote accountability, we must not be found wanting in anyway. “We must resolve personally to live above corruption”.
“To tackle corruption, you must identify it, be willing to combat it. You must be corrupt-free, take a bold step against corruption and make everyone accountable in our churches and mosques and in government” he admonished.
In his contribution, another clergyman, Pastor Kosisochukwu Ezenwafor, pointed out that corruption is beyond money and religious organizations must complement government efforts in combatting it.
According to him, “materialism encourages corruption and religious leaders should begin to teach the true tenets and values of their religions to the members. We must teach them to be contented”.
Speaking from the perspective of Islam, an Islamic Cleric, Alhaji Jimoh Ali, said “we need to rightly understand our purpose on earth. We are not here to make wealth. Politics in Nigeria is nothing but corruption. Start the corruption fight from yourself and your family. We must allow the reality of the day of accountability to guide our actions.
“Corruption has killed several persons. Let’s go and start with our children. Teach your children to do the right thing. Corruption has a cancerous effect on the society and we must keep fighting it until it is reduced to the barest minimum”.
Earlier in an opening remarks, the Director, University of Nigeria Nsukka Muslim Community, represented by the Accounting Officer, Alhaji Chuks Anyachonkeya, tasked participants to scale the lessons down to their respective organizations.
“There is hope for Nigeria. All should set a goal to end well with their maker. Go and put the lessons into use”.
Sharing their experiences about corruption, some participants appreciated how tasking it is to fight corruption but encouraged all to keep the fight raging, notwithstanding the inhibitions.
One of them said, “Selfishness is the basis of corruption. We must think less about ourselves and prioritize the good of the society”.