Religious, traditional rulers interface to fight corruption

#TrackNigeria Religious leaders from  South South Nigeria, under the auspices of Interfaith Anti-Corruption work of Nigeria (IANN), have interfaced with traditional rulers in Cross River to fight corruption in the country .

The interaction which was carried out in a symposium on citizen advocacy and opinion panel for religious and traditional leaders on corruption in Nigeria was held in Calabar.

Speaking to journalists after the symposium on Thursday,in Calabar, the Co-coordinator of IANN, Bishop Emmah Isong, said the essence of the platform was to appeal to religious leaders on how to reduce corruption to the barest minimum.

Isong ,however, urged them to go back and put their houses in order, stressing that corruption was killing the country.

He said collapsed buildings, failed projects, decay of infrastructure, dishonesty in government and crimes were all products of corruption.

The Bishop advocated a reward system for persons who exhibited corruption-free attitude.

“What we practice in Nigeria is only to punish corrupt persons, organisations should organise motivational awards to persons who are not corrupt, the cleric said.

Smilarly, Imam Abdulkareem Majemi,another Coordinator of the organisation, stressed the need for religious leaders to partner with traditional institutions to fight corruption in the country.

“We need to scale up our weekly sermons and teachings in the mosques and churches to reflect the religious tenets of being accountable and morally upright,’’ he said.

The Paramount Ruler of Calabar South Local Government Area, Prof. Horgan Itam, appealed to government to ensure the security of traditional rulers, if they must contribute effectively, in fighting corruption.

Itam, however,expresse concern over a situation where traditional rulers were attacked by criminals for trying to fight corruption in their communities.

“Sometimes, you report cases to the police and the criminals jump into the river and remain there for hours, when the police leave, they come out to attack the traditional rulers.”

“He called for enhanced salary for traditional rulers to enable them perform their functions effectively.

“How do you expect him to meet up with the demands of his subjects, this is why many of them get involved with politicians,’’ he said. (NAN)