?Cleric urges Nigerians to fight corruption

Former Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion Dr. Peter Akinola (rtd) yesterday said the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has a right to air his view on the performance of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.



The cleric said it is up to the president to prove Akande wrong.

He said the characterisation of Jonathan?s administration as ?kindergarten? by Akande was not the ?issue?, adding that Nigerians are concerned about how the President has been handling major issues.

The former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) said Jonathan has had the rare luck of being the first doctorate degree holder to occupy the number one seat of the nation, coupled with the privilege of experiencing governance as a deputy governor, governor, vice- president and now president.

He asked whether his experience have helped in his handling of national issues.

Akande, a former Osun State governor, recently said the Presidency is not for the ?kindergarten?, a remark that triggered angry reactions from the president?s camp.

Speaking with reporters at his country home in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Dr. Akinola said people who do not agree with a government are free to express their opinions.

He said: ?Nigerians voted for him (the President), so he has to tell them what he has done to be given a second chance.

?He can be called any name by anybody, that is not the issue. The issue is: Is this government responding to issues affecting Nigeria as it ought to? The president has a Ph.D and has learnt governance in terms of experience as deputy governor, governor and vice -president, so why are things the way they are in the country?

?Unfortunately a tree cannot make a forest and he is surrounded by hawks and political wolves. So what will he tell Nigerians when asked about his earlier promises.?

As the nation?s centenary anniversary draws nearer, the cleric urged political leaders to break away from corruption and build a new Nigeria.

The press conference was organised by the Peter Akinola Foundation to mark the concluding part of the ?Wake-Up-Call? series of discussions on the debilitating effects of corruption in the country.

Dr. Akinola lamented the absence of leaders with the political will to tackle corruption and urged the nation?s leaders to emulate China, Singapore, Ghana, Botswana and Burundi, which he said have shown the political will to clean their system.

He said: ?If there must be hope for a better country, Nigeria must break the corruption jinx. People must realise that corruption does not represent the most disingenuous invention or creation of modern man.

?For Nigeria, endemic corruption constitutes a huge challenge and remains the biggest obstacle to its development.

?Its harmful effect is the reason Nigeria, which is very endowed, has become a crawling/beggar-nation, with millions of poor, miserable and unhappy citizens.

?Nigeria cannot continue to accommodate corrupt leaders with docility. More so now that the United States, which is Nigeria?s biggest oil importer, is on the throes of becoming self-sufficient in its oil needs.

?With oil no longer the black gold it used to be; with endless external borrowing for no just cause and with corruption unchecked, Nigeria?s future is definitely under serious threat.?

Dr. Akinola urged Nigerians to develop zero-tolerance for corruption at all levels.

He said decisive action should be taken to strengthen the fight against corruption to ensure a bright future.

Source: Nation


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