The Deputy Secretary-General of Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Salisu Shehu on Wednesday in Kano described corruption as a weapon of mass destruction which has shattered the very foundation of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development.
Prof. Shehu who chaired the 2019 Annual Symposium with Religious Leaders in the North-East zone, organized by Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies (Mambayya House), Bayero University Kano (BUK), in conjunction with MacArthur Foundation, lamented that corruption has deprived the common man the needed social amenities such as good roads, hospitals, schools, job creation and good governance.
According to him, while countries like Iran and Iraq are ravaged by physical war, but enjoy adequate infrastructural amenities, Nigeria has been ravaged by systematic corruption which has permeated even into the circles of religious leaders.
According to him, “corruption is our own war. Corruption is the very war Nigeria is facing; because of corruption, there is no electricity, our hospitals are not functioning, our education system is in shambles. Iran and Iraq are ravaged by war, Nigeria is ravaged by corruption.”
He also figured corruption as the major reason why the war against insurgency in the North-East has not yielded the desired results, pointing out that, “corruption has made the fight against insurgency almost impossible. So, we should do our best as religious leaders to stamp out corruption in the society.”
He regretted the fact that corruption has become endemic in the Mosque and Churches, noting that, “we should do something very quickly to fight corruption because religious leaders are the last resort and the light in the society.
“I want all of us here to bear in mind that the fight against corruption will not succeed if we do not have sincerity of purpose. So, I urge all of us to eschew corruption and use our positions as religious leaders to campaign vigorously against corruption. We should reject corruption, because if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.”
In his welcome address, the Director of Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies, Prof. Ismaila M. Zango, urged participants to engage their congregations and communities around them on the need to eradicate corruption for a better society.
Prof. Zango hoped that,”in the nearest future, the fight against corruption will shift from government agencies to the people within the communities because through consistent awareness, people are getting to know the danger posed by corruption against the growth and development of the nation.”
The symposium with the theme: “Towards Consolidating The Efforts of Religious Leaders in Combating Corruption in Nigeria,”was attended by religious leaders including Imams and Pastors drawn from North-East states of Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba, including Kebbi.
Among speakers at the event include Imam Fuad Adeyemi, Chief Imam, Al-habibiyyah Islamic Society, Abuja who delivered a paper on “Practical Guide of Anti-Corruption Work for Religious Groups; Dr. Sani Musa Ayagi, Naibul Imam, BUK Mosque, Old Campus, who delivered a paper on “Muslim Scholars and Anti-Corruption Campaign in Nigeria:Realities and Expectations; Rev. Father George Ehusani, represented by Mr. Henry, who spoke on Christian Scholars and Anti-Corruption Campaign in Nigeria: Realities and Expectations.
Prof. Haruna Wakili, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), BUK, also made a brief presentation on Mambayya House Anti-Corruption Activities/Background of the Project.
All the speakers harped on the need for religious leaders to use their platforms to vigorously fight against corruption in Nigeria.