The Chairman of the Wilson Badejo Foundation, Rev Wilson Badejo, has described the impact of President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption as inconsiderable.
Badejo gave his verdict at his residence in Lagos on Sunday as he celebrated the 10th anniversary of the foundation and his 72nd birthday.
Badejo, who is an emeritus General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Nigeria, said, “The impact of the fight against corruption and the recovery of looted funds have remained insignificant as they have not translated into job opportunities or brought about new lease of life for the teeming youths in our society.
“Another sore point is the exchange rate of the local currency to the foreign currencies which remains exorbitant to the disadvantage of the Naira because of the import-dependent economy that we run. The only thing that can bring relief in this regard is a turnaround in our economy such that we can run a productive economy whereby we manufacture locally what we consume.
“The words of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo that if you fail to give education yesterday it would unleash terror on the society tomorrow should inform the new PMB’s administration to invest meaningfully in the empowerment of youths via education. Several parts of the North-East, North-West and the North-Central, which statistics reveal are the least educationally-developed areas of the country, are currently under the siege of bandits who are essentially youths full of energy but because of their lack of education have channelled this energy to crime and destructive activities.”
He added, “We at WBF, as part of our policy advocacy, would counsel that the Federal Government should evolve policies that would ensure that these youths are exposed to Western education that will enable them to be usefully engaged and re-channelled for rapid transformation of our society.”
He said the foundation’s annual scholarship scheme had seen over 235 indigent students through tertiary institutions.
“Apart from the annual award of scholarship to indigent students, there is the WBF Youth Vocational/Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Scheme which involves the realignment of youths, who have been displaced due to neglect and mismanagement of resources by successive administrations, back into the nation’s economic mainstream,” Badejo submitted.
The Methodist Church Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to fight its war against corruption no matter who is affected.
The Prelate of the church, Dr Samuel Uche, gave the advice at Dodds Methodist Cathedral of the MCN Diocese of Uzuakoli, in the Bende Local Government Area of Abia State while addressing the 25th Synod of the church.
While commending the Federal Government for driving the anti-corruption fight, the prelate regretted that the fight was not all inclusive, maintaining that it was lopsided.
He said, “We know and it is a common knowledge that people who migrate from one party to the other are the same people; but it beats our imagination that when you are the vilest offender in one party and cross over to a certain party, you become a saint overnight.
“This should not have been so. Whoever is corrupt should be seen to be corrupt regardless of the party he or she belongs to. Our fight against corruption should be a holistic and a genuine one”.
The prelate observed that most government functionaries disobeyed court orders, which, he said, portrayed Nigeria as practising jungle justice and promoting the survival of the fittest.
“This is unacceptable and contrary to the norms of any civilised society. The world has become a global village and our country would be deceiving herself if she feels that she can be an island,” he said.
Uche admitted that things were not going smoothly for churches in Nigeria due to harassment and intimidation. He urged churches to unite “in times like this, to practise the golden rule of loving our neighbours as ourselves.”
He added, “Being a top member and leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and one of the foremost leaders of the Christian Council of Nigeria, I can say that we Christians have exhibited the highest level of decorum by turning the other cheek (as admonished in the holy scripture), when provoked.
“However, I regret to note that within the general body of Christ, our church denominations have collectively failed in carrying out our primary assignment as a praying community due to the level of disunity and polarisation within us, whereby some churches claim to be more sanctimonious than the other.
“Unfortunately, this attitude has not encouraged and promoted good rapport, unity of purpose, integration and cohesion among us. At this crucial time in our national life, I appealed to churches in Nigeria to be united.”
Also addressing the faithful on the state of the nation, the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Okpara Chiemeka, said, “The Nigerian nation, the pride of Africa, which is endowed with a quantum of mineral deposit that could enable her to be one of the foremost countries of the world in terms of development, by legal framework, is a misnomer and in terms of infrastructure, a charade.
“No one dare talk about security because all we hear in the news suggest that Nigeria is a failed state and we need to declare a state of emergency on her.
“What is it that we have got right? Is it our education system or the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity? The water board is moribund and our roads are death trap.”