By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A group, Interfaith Mediation Center, (IMC), has said religious leaders have vital role to play to complement efforts of government in the fight against corruption in the country, saying the tendency for corruption is rooted in one’s beliefs and value system.
The group stated this during a town hall meeting on fight against corruption and the formal presentation of a study manual: “Faith-Based Pedagogy On Anti-Corruption”, supported by MacArthur Foundation held in Kaduna on Friday.
In his remarks, the Co-Executive Director of the group, Imam Muhammad Ashafa, disclosed that the group developed a template on what roles people of faith could play to complement efforts of government to fight corruption, and encouraged participants at the meeting to bare their minds on the issue.
He explained that the project is basically to lend their voice on the fight against corruption, noting that our humanity should supersede our religious, tribal and other considerations while the fight against corruption should be encouraged at the grassroot level.
He said corruption has affected almost all the fabrics of our lives and has eroded the potentials of our national development; hence, it has negatively impacted on the lives of the people, especially in terms of enjoying dividends of good governance.
Participants at the meeting were unanimous on dangers and evils associated with corruption in the life of individual and the Nation and the need to take proactive measures against the menace.
They reiterated the need for leaders to lead by example, avoid favouritism, frowned against get rich-quick syndrome, avoid celebrating and idolizing corrupt elements in our society.
Participants also advocated for returned to our cherished values, discipline, mutual respect, be our brother’s keeper as enshrined in the two Holy Books: Bible and Qur’an.
While making formal presentation of the study manual, the Co-Executive Director, IMC, Pastor James Wuye, said the book was carefully put together after wide consultations with stakeholders to help students and all interested in dealing with corruption bedeviling the country.
According to him, the role of religious leaders and teachings on this subject matter is enshrined in our scriptures and ethics which are central to the tenet of our faith, hence, anti-corruption drive and campaign should not be left alone to the government.
“We were able to elicit from them a document that speaks about the practical way of handling and stemming corruption in our society and looking at it from the lense of Faith, we feel if religious leaders join the campaign and promote the manual which is an anti-corruption strategy, it will go a long way in addressing the issues of corruption in Nigeria,” Wuye said.
Participants at the meeting were drawn from the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, (ICPC); Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC); National Orientation Agency, (NOA); People Living with Disabilities, (PLWDs); Media, and students.
Others include; Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN); Jama’tul Nasril Islam, (JNI); Women Interfaith Council, (WIC) Kaduna; Federation of Muslim Women’s Association In Nigeria, (FOMWAN), Kaduna among others.