Killing corruption in Nigeria needs assistance of God – Obasanjo

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Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo: Provides a guide on wining anti-corruption war in Nigeria.

*’Lawmakers, enforcers problem of anti-corruption’

*Primate Ayodele vindicated, says respondent

“We must be careful in believing and celebrating every testimony of miraculous blessing otherwise we end up celeberating corruption.  The behaviour of some of our men of God leaves much to be desired.  They not only celebrate but venerate those whose sources of wealth are questionable.  They accept gifts (offerings) from just anybody without asking questions giving the impression that anything is acceptable in the house of God,” he said.

The anti-corruption war in Nigeria has reached a stage that it should be fortified with spiritual approach, Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said.

With Transparency International’s perception index, which placed Nigeria as 144 of the 146 countries for 2015/2016 in its corruption rating, Obasanjo said a spiritual approach was needed in the ongoing effort to rid Nigeria of the endemic scourge that corruption crusade in the country.

Describing the church as an important and influential institution with a pivotal role in curbing and eradicating corruption in Nigeria, Obasanjo, who spoke at the 2017 Convention Lecture of the Victory Life Bible Church International in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, called on the church to wield its influence against the menace.

In his paper titled, “The Role of the Church in the Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria,” the former ruler described the anti-corruption war in Nigeria as “a fight for the soul of the nation,” which he said could not be won only by legislations.  He hinged his worry on the fact that successive governments in the past had tried to contain corruption through enactment of laws and enforcement of integrity systems but ended with a slow pace of success.

The former President, who was represented by Dr. Femi Olajide, observed that legislations alone are not enough as they are often breached by those who make them and those who should implement them.

“Our main problems are moral, ethical, attitudinal failure and disorientation.

“The church is an institution that provides the moral and ethical standards for us as believers.

“Man alone by himself cannot get rid of corruption from the world, he needs the assistance of God.

“Here must come the society and the church with the spirit of God to work together to undo the harm that man has done and continue to do to the perfect work of God on earth,’’ he said.

The elder statesman, however, stressed that the anti-corruption crusade must first be fought within the church through ridding itself of the menace before extending it to the larger society.

“The church needs to clear its augean stable.

“The temple of God must be cleanest to restore the holiness of the church.

“Our present day money changers and merchants. Must be chased out of the church.

“The pulpit must be used to teach and preach righteous and honest living.

“To preach that one can acquire wealth without labour is not only deceitful, but also a call to corruption.

“We must be careful in believing and celebrating every testimony of miraculous blessing otherwise we end up celeberating corruption.

“The behaviour of some of our men of God leaves much to be desired.

“They not only celebrate but venerate those whose sources of wealth are questionable.

“They accept gifts (offerings) from just anybody without asking questions giving the impression that anything is acceptable in the house of God,” he said.

He called on Christian leaders to sanitise the church for effective anti-corruption crusade.

The former president, who recalled that the church played an important role in the development of Nigeria, noted that the nation had come to another historic juncture requiring the church to play a leading role.

“The role must be played in praying, preaching and teaching.

“This is a period of moral and ethical rebirth and the church as an agent of socialisation must embark on moral re-armament for the church and for the nation,” the former President said.

The General Overseer of the church, Lawrence Achudume, lamented that the inability to know the past has grossly affected the present and plan for the future, which in the larger context caused corruption.

“Let there be some clerics who would be sponsored to the house of God in Ka’abah and go to Jerusalem and to seclude in selected mosques and churches across Nigeria doing no other thing but praying for Muhammadu Buhari who is the chief driver voluntarily offering himself as the undiluted conscience for helping Nigeria against corruption, praying for Nigeria the vehicle with which the President drives Nigerians and pray for all Nigerians so as not to by themselves be the ones that would tell God not to help Nigeria due to their own evils against themselves, against the nation and their sins against God,” the respondent charged.

In the meantime, a watcher has called to remind The DEFENDER of a call by founder and spiritual leader of INRI Spiritual and Evangelical Church, Oke-Afa Isolo, Lagos, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele, who said in February 2016 that what Nigerians needed to do was not join dangerous opposition against the government of Muhammadu Buhari but team up in prayers in support of the Daura, Katsina State-born President, adding that, “because Buhari alone cannot fight corruption except with prayers and a lot of spiritual efforts.”

Ayodele himself had been severally reported to have said that the worst times for him in his prophetic life was when, due to nonchalance of people his warnings were meant, the negative happened. “I feel so pained by that,” he said often.  That explained why the INRI Church founder himself declared mobilisation for 30,000 prophets and pastors for no other reason but fortify President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort to fix Nigeria.

“Now, the solution is this, the prophets have to come together…I have been taking  steps for prophets to come together and pray for this nation through their anointing.  The country needs prayers.  What is happening now to the nation is more than the government can do alone,” Ayodele had said in a national daily published on April 17, 2016.

Now that the challenges posed by the #CorruptionFightBack agents in all the arms of the government and their cohorts among members of the public has got to the point that even former President Obasanjo has to openly accepts that spiritual approach is need, the respondent said people like Primate Ayodele and other clerics in Nigeria, Muslims and Christians, should now be tasked and mobilised by government to engage in fervent prayers for the safety and protection of the soul of Nigeria.

“Let there be some clerics who would be sponsored to the house of God in Ka’abah and go to Jerusalem and to seclude in selected mosques and churches across Nigeria doing no other thing but praying for Muhammadu Buhari who is the chief driver voluntarily offering himself as the undiluted conscience for helping Nigeria against corruption, praying for Nigeria the vehicle with which the President drives Nigerians and pray for all Nigerians so as not to by themselves be the ones that would tell God not to help Nigeria due to their own evils against themselves, against the nation and their sins against God,” the respondent charged.

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