The Catholic Arch-Bishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to partner with religious institutions in the country if the current war against corruption in Nigeria must succeed.
Onaiyekan stated this in Abuja at the Our Lady Queen Of Nigeria Pro-cathedral, venue of Saturday’s priestly ordination of nine catholic priests.
He also said the the anti-corruption war in the country today should not be regarded as a project initiated by the Buhari administration, stressing that religious institutions had been doing it long ago.
According to Onaiyekan, the fight against corruption is a necessary step, but such effort can only succeed with the support of religious institutions.
The Buhari administration, he said, had done very little to ensure the active participation of religious leaders in the war against corruption.
Onaiyekan said the change mantra of the All Progressives Congress goverment can only succeed if the government provides a forum for the active collaboration of religious organisations in the ongoing war against corruption.
“It is not Buhari who is telling us to fight corruption. We have been doing it in many ways.
“I think we could do more in the fight against corruption if there is more synergy between government institutions and religious institutions. I am not talking only of the church.
“There should be such arrangement whereby government officials and religious people can sit down and see how we can all contribute to the fight against corruption.
“For the moment I don’t think we have gotten the forum for that kind of cooperation. If we you want people’s heart to change you have to reach out to us, we are the experts in that.
“Religious leaders have a moral obligation to help in the fight against corruption. Although we don’t have to wait for them to tell us, but my own belief is that if there is a conscious effort to work together, the impact will be more serious,” he said.
Onaiyekan also admonished the newly ordained priests to shun materialistic tendencies in order to stand out as shining and worthy examples to be emulated in a world slowly drifting towards materialism.
“Even if the world is standing for materialism, the priest must stand out, so that other people can see them and emulate, and so that homily can preach louder,” he added.
The nine newly ordained priests are Reverend Fathers Vincent Iletogbe, Cephas Magaji, Charles Eketelu, Kingsley Fedinand, Emanuel Odiong, Joseph Tyopenda, John Uche, Naset Nwodo and James George.