Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A Nigerian cleric based in Canada, Pastor Amos Dele Dada, recently joined other citizens of the United States, Dr. Myrna Etheridge, Pastor Charles Thomas and Bishop Golden Darrell, and other Nigerians to launch the Say No to Corruption Movement in Nigeria.
The cleric, who is with the Christ Apostolic Church, Bethel Parish, Toronto, said the initiative was part of his efforts to assist the government in the cause of fighting corruption.
The event took place at the Treasure Hall 11, Alaguntan area of Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, recently. Dada, who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering, also launched his latest book, “To The Rescue (Say No To Corruption).”
The cleric said Nigeria had the potential to be a great nation. “I am of the school of thought that Nigeria shall be great. In making this nation great, I believe there are so many questions we can ask. The two that I consider most relevant and appropriate are, how did we get to this state of disrepair and how can we repair our nation?
“I do not want to bore you on how we got here, because I know we all know it. Corruption is, in my opinion, responsible for our decadence, dilapidation, degradation and failure as a nation. Therefore, the solution is simple, eliminate or reduce corruption.
“To be fair to ourselves, there is no nation without corrupt people. Human beings have the propensity to be corrupt. But nations have the capacity to identify their locusts, caterpillars, palmerworms and cankerworms and deal with them. Nigeria has to do this. Inasmuch as we use judicial manipulations, tribal sentiments, lack of political will, and refuse to deal with corruption and corrupters, we are only rubbing pepper on our sores and it will continue to hurt us,” he said.
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Reviewing the anti-graft war of the current government, the cleric said: “The approach of the Federal Government for now could be tagged crisis management or an ad hoc approach to fighting corruption.
“A case where some looters soil their hands with misappropriation of funds or engage in one form of corruption or the other and the government is spending a fortune to recover some money and jail the culprit, laudable as it sounds, cannot deter the looters. They will exploit the legal system and avoid justice.
“I, therefore, want to suggest that the Federal Government must create special courts to try corrupt people and those who are found guilty should face the full wrath of the law and there should be no sacred cows.
“More importantly, they must take a proactive approach, which is to instruct the youth against corruption through proper education. That is why I have written this novel. The best use is to put these books in the hands of the youth, through universities, polytechnic, Bible institutions as general knowledge studies, just as Joseph Ayodele Babalola University has done,” he said.
Describing his book as fiction which, he noted, is the language of the youth, he said:“It is to educate people on the dangers of excessive materialism and the get-rich-quick culture. It also shows the effect of poverty and how that feeds corruption and vice versa. It highlights the need for more job creation with better remuneration, the need for rulers to be mindful of the masses, the need to raise a new generation of good citizens, eagle-minded citizens, nation developers, erudite leaders, and people of vision, honesty and integrity. Nigeria and Nigerians
are tired of chicken-minded rulers!
“It is my opinion that, if we can get this book into the hands of the younger generation in their schools as a literature book, it will give them ideas about what they should not get into in the future – corrupt practices.”
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Dada has presented his book to some distinguished Nigerians, including Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, renowned human rights activist, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of the Ekiti State governor, among others. He admonished parents to train their
children in a godly way.
The special guests from the USA urged Nigerians to shun acts of corruption and tasked leaders to be sincere in fighting the menace, warning that corruption was responsible for the nation’s obvious backwardness. Miss Adedamola Alonge, who represented the Nigerian youth at the event, urged the government to tackle corruption from the homes and schools so as to build a corruption-free generation.
While launching the Say No To Corruption Movement, Dada said: “This movement starts with every one of us present here today, with everyone reading or hearing this message. It is time for you to say no to corruption. If all of us in our various areas of influence say no to corruption, we will leave a legacy that will build a Nigeria that we can all be proud of,” he said.