Opinion: Buhari’s Anti-Corruption Fight is Losing Steam, Let Religion Help Him

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That corruption has left our country terribly devastated cannot be disputed. The implications of the ills of corruption is plainly seen by the blind, heard by the deaf and felt by all.
How this absurd way of life could gain such prominence in a uniquely religious society like ours defies simple logic. For instance, you will marvel at the patronage that known thieves enjoy from religious organizations.
This piece should not be construed as an attack on our three (yes three) most popular religions. What the writer seeks to achieve is nothing more than a reminder of the need for our clerics to take a stand in the fight against corruption. It is most expedient at this time when the Integrity of Mr. President is daily being challenged by the re-insurgence of graft in his administration.
I have read a bit about world’s religions. Equity and justice are some of the unbreakable lines that runs through these belief systems. They all are opposed to theft, greed and avarice. The virtues of contentment and honesty are emphasized in clear terms.
Whether I approve of religions or not, there is a fact about it that I cannot deny. And that fact is that RELIGION is powerful! It is a force that makes individuals offer themselves as martyrs. A force that makes people offer up their belongings. It is a force that makes people forfeit the unimaginable bliss of marriage. Religion as force has an unmatched ability to alter the course of living; for good or for bad. In fact, because of the immense and unpredictable power of religion, it is a standard practice to separate it from the state – this is what secularism of the state is anyway. It must also be regulated.
In Nigeria, religion has lived to its true nature. It has manifestly procured much good and much bad.
Some commentators, particularly those in favor of a completely secular Nigeria have argued that the spread of corruption may have been encouraged by our highly unregulated religions. This is not exactly the focus of this piece. But whether the claim is true or not, the time is ripe that we begin to take the religion ‘corporations’ to task (and probably to tax, too) and place a moral expectation on them.
No one can dispute how terribly overwhelmed the Nigerian government has become in its fight against corruption. It has had to walk back on its decisions on this fight (consider their failure to declare identities of those who have stolen humongous amounts of money). Obviously this administration whose ‘primary assignment’ is to dislodge the grip of corruption off Nigeria has lost the steam. In fairness to Mr. Buhari, as an individual I concede that corruption’s grip is much too great than what a the government at the federal level can handle on its own. It is much too great than what a single individual would take on.
It is now clear that rather than summarizing the fight against corruption into the person of Mr. President, it must be intelligently weaved into our system. It must primarily be on autopilot and supported by a well coordinated government oversight. It must place on the citizen a consciousness. Organizations, particularly the religious, must be made to recognize the fight as theirs.
Nigeria will be losing both ways if we do not commit our religious industry to this fight. They must be engaged.
I wish every Nigerian a quick win over the anticorruption fight and a speedy recovery.
Happy International Anticorruption Day 2017.
– Oshaloto, Joseph Tade, a media and communications consultant, writes from Abuja.
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