Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh
By Chineme Okafor
The Primate and Archbishop, Anglican Communion of Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh Friday asked the Federal Government to concentrate its efforts in taking care of root causes of widespread corruption in the country, rather than seeking a new constitution.
Okoh who described Nigerians as being innately corrupt, noted that enforcement of existing laws that are expected to act as checks and balances against corruption has remained a great challenge to the country, saying: “it is not so much a problem of constitution but people are dedicated to evil.”
He emphasised that politicians are not the only set of Nigerians that indulge in corrupt practices across the country, but also local people and vandals who engage in destruction and theft of bridge railings and stadia facilities across the country.
Speaking to journalists at the first session of the second Synod of the Communion in Abuja, with the theme: “Behold obedience is better than sacrifice,” Okoh stressed that all that is required for true repentance of people, adding, “People need to repent. We need to be righteous,”.
The cleric faulted the mass eviction of people from their homes in the Federal Capital City (FCT) via demolition of some districts, noting that: “no country is only built for the rich.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to address the accommodation challenges in Abuja, which according to him, is also accountable for sharp practices in the civil service.
“If accommodation is simply for the rich as being advocated by the Federal Government, there is a very high propensity for the civil servant to indulge in corrupt practices since their salaries cannot afford the high income accommodation.
“In order to ensure harmonious environment in Nigeria, the rich must learn to co-habit with low income people,” he said.
He further explained: “Government should pay attention to the accommodation of low income civil servants because if the low income civil servant is to pay from his salary he can’t. So it encourages corruption. All that encourage people to attempt sharp practices must be addressed.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Bishop of Kubwa Dioceses of the Communion, Revd. Duke Akamisoko insisted that what was lacking in Nigeria was not a constitution but obedience to the laws as contained in the constitution.
According to him: “God prefers sacrifice to obedience which is not from the heart and where there is obedience sacrifices are of no importance.”
On the church and its educational development, Akamisoko disclosed that students who are scheduled to graduate from its secondary school would be admitted into its proposed university which is equally expected to kick-off next year.
He commended the church’s secondary school in Kubwa, which according to him, has been rated the best in FTC in terms of standard and students performance in West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations.