Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has advised the church to be more critical in the fight against corruption.
He spoke, yesterday, on the theme: “The Church and Good Governance” at the All Soul Church, Lekki as guest lecturer at the centenary anniversary of the Diocese of Lagos Anglican Communion.
Obi who traced the problem of Nigeria to cumulative years of bad leadership, said all institutions, including the church, contributed to that failure either through commission or omission.
“By blessing poor people who suddenly make money in government and come to church for thanksgiving rather than calling police for them, the church is not showing right example.”
He emphasised the need for the church to be conscious of being the conscience of the world.
To reduce corruption, Obi said government must make deliberate efforts to reduce so many toll gates by changing her procurement processes to ensure money moved directly to institutions they were meant for.
Using his time as governor of Anambra State for example, Obi said money meant for schools were given to them directly and that it was one of the reasons Anambra achieved so much in education, moving from 27 to number one.
Obi also spoke of exceptionally high cost of governance and proffered solution flowing from his practical experience.
“As governor of Anambra, I reduced the cost of governance through eliminating many unnecessary things our people make part of government such as long convoys, maintaining multiple guests houses, travelling with retinue of aides, among others. By the time you know it, I had excess money to meet our obligations including clearing arrears of pension to the tune of about N35 billion and saving over N75 billion for the state as at the day I left office,” Obi said.
Other speakers includingt Prof. Itse Sagay and Justice Osat Obaseki-Osaghae reminded the church that it was expected to be the moral compass of world.
Describing corruption as a complex phenomenon affecting all the countries of the world, Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, said Nigeria’s own peculiar complexity laid in the fact that when other countries caught corrupt people they went to jail, while in Nigeria, they went to the senate and start making laws for the country.
Echoing Obi, he said if rich Nigerians and those in government did not, due to corruption, take care of the poor, one day, the poor would not allow them to sleep.