An erstwhile President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has slammed some churches and their leaders in the country for not only encouraging corruption but also celebrating people with questionable sources of wealth.
Obasanjo made this known on Saturday at the 2017 Convention Lecture of Victory Life Bible Church International in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while speaking on the theme, ‘The role of the church in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.’
The former leader averred that the fight against corruption must start within the church, even as he called for a spiritual approach in tackling corruption, tasking the church to rescue the nation from its grip.
He said, “The church needs to clear its Augean stables. The temple of God must be the cleanest to restore the holiness of the church. Our present-day money changers and merchants must be chased out of the church. The pulpit must be used to teach and preach righteous and honest living. To preach that one can acquire wealth without labour is not only deceitful, but also a call to corruption.
“We must be careful in believing and celebrating every testimony of miraculous blessing, otherwise we end up celebrating corruption. The behaviour of some of our men of God leaves much to be desired. They not only celebrate but venerate those whose sources of wealth are questionable. They accept gifts (offerings) from just anybody without asking questions, giving the impression that anything is acceptable in the house of God.”
Obasanjo further noted that legislations alone were not enough in curbing the menace, pointing out that various administrations had tried in vain to make the country corruption-free through enactment of laws and enforcement of integrity systems.
He said, “Legislations alone are not enough as they are often breached by those who make them and those who should implement them. Our main problems are moral, ethical, attitudinal failure and disorientation. The church is an institution that provides the moral and ethical standards for us as believers. Man alone cannot get rid of corruption from the world; he needs the assistance of God.”
The former president thus called on Christian leaders to sanitise the church for effective anti-graft crusade.