*Churches increasingly enmeshed in financial scandals
Paul Obi in Abuja
Senior Pastor and Founder of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, on Saturday said Nigeria is just wasting her time without true federalism that will devolve power to the federating states.
He stated this during the 14th anniversary of Foursquare Gospel Church, Asokoro, Abuja, as a guest speaker of the ceremony.
He argued that the prevailing disconnect in governance and politics that has characterised the running of Nigeria as a country is tied to over concentration of power and economic resources at the centre.
According to him, “The truth be told, what we need are strong federating units but not a powerful centre. Let every federating unit develop at its pace.
“We had potentials on the ground; Cocoa in the west, groundnut in the north, and that’s what built Ahmadu Bello University, that’s what built Obafemi Awolowo University and those other things. Until we go back there, we are just wasting our time,” Bakare said.
On corruption, he explained: “In climes where the law is effective, certain congregations have reportedly been enmeshed in financial scandals. In Nigeria, there have been reports of clergy men engaging in fraudulent activities .
“Arraignments by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are becoming more common. From the pulpit to the pews, corruption stinks to the highest heavens, and God cannot be mocked.
“By accommodating the corrupt in the land and adopting corrupt practices, contributes to the state of decay and decline and is part of the problem. Before blaming the government, the Nigerian Church needs to seriously self-examine to find out whether or not it has actively contributed to the impoverishing our nation and the collapse of our economy.”
He stressed that though there have been reports of church attendance, tithes and offerings shrinking as a result of the recession, the church must stand firm.