Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Catholic Bishop of Warri Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) John Okeoghene Afereha, has likened corruption in Nigeria to terrorism, saying corruption and terrorist activities of Boko Haram are walking side-by-side to negatively impact the lives of ordinary citizens of the nation.
Afereha asserted that corruption in Nigeria has become so pervasive that it would appear to have assumed a department in the country’s polity as corruption has become part and parcel with poitics and political activities in the country.
The fiery cleric made the remarks during the Thanksgiving Mass at the instance of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Delta State Oil Producing Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Bashorun Askia Ogieh, at the Saint Matthias Catholic Church, Uzere in Isoko South Local Government of Delta State.
Afareha, however, noted that corruption in the country is fuelled by the people’s inordinate love for materialism which, like insurgent Boko Haram, has affected all facets of life in the country and leaving the nation practically gasping for breath.
Nonetheless, the bishop charged the DESOPADEC managing director, Askia, to discharge the responsibilities of his new position with the fear of God to use the agency’s resources judiciously out of genuine love for the people especially in his mandate communities. He commended Bashorun Askia for his contribution to the empowerment of his people and the development of his Uzere community in the past through the Bashorun Askia Foiundation (BAF), urging him not to relent in his efforts now in DESOPADEC management.
In his remarks, Bashorun Askia thanked God for the opportunity to serve at a relatively higher level of government, assuring Governor Ifeanyi Okowa that he owed him (governor) a debt of gratitude by ensuring that he lived up to the confidence the governor reposed in him through committed service.
While thanking the governor “who has in various ways enhanced and ensured my political trajectory in Delta State and beyond,”Askia also thanked “God for guiding Okowa in giving me this privilege to serve the people.
“Your Excellency, I appreciate that you let me into where the political paddle of Delta State is hidden and the canoe has been sailing smoothly even in rough waters. My gratitude knows no bounds; it is profound. And you know, it is without regrets.
For me, it is the right thing to do, to effortlessly show immense gratitude to you.”
The thanksgiving event was followed with a grant reception attended by thousands of people including Governor Okowa, his deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, former Delta governor, Chief James Ibori, Speaker of the state legislature, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Chairman of DESOPADEC, Mr Michael Diden, senior government officials and leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) including the state chairman, Mr Kingsley Esiso.