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Anti-graft war is for survival of Nigeria, says Obasanjo


Olusegun Obasanjo

• Tasks Church Leaders To Live Up To Expectation, Teach Members Right Values 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday lamented that all the country’s institutions, including the church had been tarnished by the brush of corruption.He described the fight against corruption in the country as the fight for the soul and survival of Nigeria, warning that church leaders must be at the forefront of the fight against corruption.

Obasanjo who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said corruption is a systemic problem in the society and must therefore be addressed systematically from the “root, stem and branches.”

“Even in the church, corruption is thriving and this makes it difficult for the church to really play her all-important role of modeling the country in a morally-evidenced manner,” Obasanjo affirmed.

Obasanjo charged church leaders to preach prosperity message with caution and also use their positions to teach their congregations the right values. The church leaders, he said must also tell politicians the truth at all times.

He said: “There is no doubt that all our institutions have been tarnished by the brush of corruption. If the church, as an institution, does not take bribe or get involved in other corrupt practice, the behaviour of some of our men of God leaves much to be desired. They not only celebrate, but also venerate those whose sources of wealth are questionable. They accept gifts (offering) from just anybody without asking questions. This gives the impression that anything is acceptable in the House of God.”

He spoke at a lecture, he delivered as part of activities marking the Annual Convention of the Victory Life Bible Church (VLBC), a popular Abeokuta based Pentecostal Church, presided over by Apostle Lawrence Achudume. He spoke on “The Role of The Church In The Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria.”

Obasanjo who spoke through Dr. Femi Olajide, said: “The rise of public administration and the discovery of oil and natural gas are two major events seen to have led to the increase in corrupt practices in the country.

“In fact, from the revelations we are hearing, it seems the situation is worse than what I met on ground in 1999. The inference is that fighting corruption is not a one-off or one regime affair; it is an all-time and all-regime affair.  If we relent, it bounces back with vengeance.”

The General Overseer of the Church, Apostle Achudume earlier in his welcome address attributed the removal of history study from the Secondary School Curriculum by the government as one of the reasons for the rise in corruption.

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Olusegun Obasanjo
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