Two renowned clerics in Nigeria, Rev father George Ehusani and Imam Fuad Adeyemi have blamed the high level of corruption in Nigeria on fallen moral values in the society.
The clerics say the diminishing moral values amongst Nigerians have largely boosted the prevalence of corruption in the nation, and proposed the development of a core national value as the solution to having a better Nigeria.
The Founder, Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, Revd. Fr. George Ehusani led the call during a special radio town hall meeting against corruption, organized by Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, with the support of MacArthur Foundation on Thursday in Abuja.
Fr. Ehusani who was proffering a solution on how to curb the menace of moral decadence which is believed to be chiefly aiding corruption in Nigeria, said the nation’s present circumstances does not encourage integrity amongst citizens.
His words: “We need a certain set of values. We need core national values with leaders that will uphold those values and virtues and will show examples of it.
“Teachers, high level government officials and others will show a high level of truth, integrity, honesty and it is through this way we can govern the society better.”
Against the opinion of some Nigerians, Fr. Ehusani argued that religion has majorly helped in keeping Nigeria together as a nation and calming down irate citizens against taking to violence and crime.
“Let me say that when people say that religion has failed, I tell them that actually it is religion that is stopping the poor from killing the rich today.
“It is religion that is helping our society stay afloat, if not for religion we would have had worse criminals on the street today. Imagine what it would have been like without religion in Nigeria,” Fr. Ehusani stated.
The National Chief Imam, Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society, Imam Fuad Adeyemi who was also part of the program backed call for the development of a core national value in Nigeria.
“We actually need to have a national value, we need to work for love and when you have that at the back of our minds, we would be able to have a national value,” Imam Adeyemi noted.
On his part, the Country Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Mr Friday Odey asked the federal government and governments at all levels to lead the way in promoting integrity.
On reward for integrity, Odey had this to say: “For me, to serve or build a school for the people should not be rewarded. If I found you as a person, I should identify and celebrate you as a person.”
Earlier, a lecturer at Bingham University, Dr Hope Cole said society’s role in molding people is actually to create that ethical value. She stressed that ethics is most important thing society needed to mould the younger ones.
Dr Cole identified corruption, greed and injustice as the three basic things responsible for moral decadence in the Nigeria society.
Her words: “Moral decadence booms in our society as a result of corruption, greed is also a factor that pushes people to corruption and injustice that has over time formed precedents in the minds of the people.”
Cole, however, urged Nigerians to take responsibility in building a better society.
“Be the good person you need people to see and try the best you can to know that integrity is not inborn, it is something that you must do and not just do but do always,” she said.
The meeting was also used to celebrate two Nigerians; Keith Mali who returned the sum of $80,000 worth of Bitcoin mistakenly transferred into his bitcoin wallet by an unknown person, and Oluwafisayo Arojojoye, a taxi driver renowned for returning forgotten items by his passengers.
Mali and Arojojoye respectively attributed their acts of integrity to their upbringing.