Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has described recent revelations about pervasive corruption in government sectors as “terribly worrisome and unfortunate.”
Kaigama stated this in a homily at a Mass held at Saint Agnes Parish, Wuye, Abuja, yesterday.
His condemnation came against the backdrop of allegations of massive fraud by officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and North East Development Commission (NEDC) which has forced the National Assembly to commence audit of the establishments.
“The recent revelations about pervasive corruption in some government sectors are terribly worrisome and unfortunate. The cost of governance and expenditures on partisan political strategies to capture power are scandalous in the face of a pandemic of poverty,” Kaigama said.
Kaigama, however, said all hope was not lost given the stories of brave and honest Nigerians, who in their endeavours, were doing the country proud.
He cited “the recent appointment of Prof. Charles Egbu as Vice Chancellor of a UK University; Ikenna Nweke in Japan who returned a missing wallet with huge sums of money to the police and also turned down an offer of a percentage of the money and the heroism of Tolulope Arotile, a Nigeria Air force first ever female combat helicopter pilot who died and was buried with full military honours.
Similarly, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, conferred on Frs. Aloysius Udoh, Anthony Onyeso and Festus Nwadike, the title Monsignor, an honorary title usually bestowed on priests who have served the Church and society faithfully.
Kaigama noted that in Africa, the craving for political power among politicians and even some religious leaders and the manipulations to achieve it was mind -boggling.
“In the process, there are threats to life, unjust judicial pronouncements, buying votes or electoral and security officials, promoting the dubious interests of godfathers, dealing unfairly with political opponents and when power is captured there is the accumulation of so much wealth at the expense of the ordinary people,” Kaigama said.
The cleric who drew his message from the biblical readings in the Mass likened the Kingdom of God to a treasure worth giving up everything for in order to be a part of it.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be ready to make the requisite sacrifice to build a country where peace, justice and holiness reigns so that they could inherit the Kingdom of God.
Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to urgently publish all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes by the National Assembly since the return of democracy in 1999.
The FoI request dated July 25 and signed by deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, urged the leadership of the National Assembly to disclose the number and details of public hearings and corruption probes that have resulted in any indictment of suspects, and to name such suspects.
It also asked the National Assembly to “sponsor a resolution to stop lawmakers from directly getting involved in the execution of projects by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to ensure the proper and effective exercise of oversight functions, including investigations of corruption allegations, such as those involving NDDC and NSITF.