ICPC Calls On Clergy To Promote Integrity In Religion
By Oladipupo Mojeed
Ekpo Nta, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has appealed to leaders of religious groups to promote integrity, honesty, transparency and accountability in messages to adherents of their various religions.
Nta made the plea at the interactive seminar for religious leaders organised by ICPC held at Awka, Anambra State with the theme; “Religion and its Institutions as Veritable Tools in Combating Corruption”.
He said religious leaders are important channels of carrying the anti-corruption message to the grassroots since most Nigerians profess either the Christian or Islamic religion.
The occasion attracted many Christian, Muslim and traditional leaders.
The Chairman, who was represented at the occasion by Mr. Kingsley Obi, of Education Department, Abuja disclosed that the interactive forum was aimed at enlightening religious leaders on the provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, the activities of ICPC as well as to challenge them to identify their roles in the anti-corruption fight.
He said ICPC adopts a holistic approach to combating corruption, through a combination of the enforcement, prevention and public education strategies while adding that the Commission, in order to achieve its prevention and public enlightenment functions, has embarked on several programmes to mobilise different segments of the society to join in the war against corruption.
Nta thereafter expressed his optimism that the interactive seminar would stimulate vibrant discourse on the best way forward to win the war against corruption by institutionalising integrity in all spheres of life.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Anambra State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Snr. Apostle Tim Okpala, advised Christian leaders and groups to use “the message of the Cross” to promote a modest and an austere lifestyle that would contradict the crass materialism and extreme economic liberalism of this age.
This he said is responsible for the worsening plight of the poor and the high level of corrupt practices in the country.
Speaking on the theme of the seminar, the Chief Imam of Yoruba Muslim community of Nnewi, Alhaji Sanusi Abdulrasheed said corruption is the dishonest and fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
He said it can be eradicated through proper government funding of schools, equal treatment of citizens and job creation.