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Akinyemi, Obi, Agbakoba decry graft, offer path for economic development

By Joseph Onyekwere and Isaac Taiwo
06 December 2019   |   3:39 am
One-TIME Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on government to publicly expose corrupt Nigerians as obtained in other climes.

One-time Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on government to publicly expose corrupt Nigerians as obtained in other climes. He also urged the church to sustain education of the people on the danger of identifying with perverse politicians, reminding them that the handouts they get for vote inducement were mortgaging their future.

Akinyemi spoke yesterday in Lagos during the centenary anniversary lecture organised by the Diocese of Lagos Anglican Communion at All Souls Anglican Church, Lekki with the theme, “The church and good governance in Nigeria”, where the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Osat Obaseki-Osaghae and Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, also spoke against graft.

Akinyemi, who was chairman of the occasion, lamented the level of corruption in Nigeria despite efforts at curtailing the menace, urging the church to keep the advocacy alive through its messages and activities.

The ex-minister challenged the religious institution to speak truth to government all times. In his remarks, Obi told Nigerians that it was high time they started taking corrupt politicians to task, by impressing it on them to account for their expenditure and stewardship, adding that until the “people are bold enough to do this, corruption would not stop and politicians would continue to take Nigerians for granted.”He said the greatest asset of any nation were the people and the best thing any government could give them was good education.

The former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate enjoined the church to be at the vanguard of good governance.Also speaking, the Bishop of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye, said the event was to promote Christian virtues, transparency, honesty, righteousness, dignity of labour and total obedience to God.He added that good governance was inter-connected with selfless service.

Besides, ex-president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) yesterday proposed a cooperative federalism as panacea for the nation’s economic transformation.His proposal was contained in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari dated November 5, 2019 where he explained that since elections were over, restructuring might be the way out.

He said: “Now that we have come to the end of elections by the decision of the Supreme Court, political federalism or by its more popular name “restructuring” may be the way to go but it has not been understood and generally accepted.

“I understand it but many ask, what is restructuring? I have to admit that the only way restructuring can work is if it is nationally accepted. It would appear to me that political restructuring even though important is dividing us and impeding development.“I suggest that it may be time to talk about another model of development while the restructuring debate continues. I think what might unite us all in the quest for development is cooperative federalism and economic transformation.”