The Socio Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC) has urged religious and traditional leaders to lead lives worthy of emulation by their followers.
The Executive Director of SERDEC, Tijani Abdulkareem, handed the Charge during an anti-corruption conference organised by the centre in Lokoja, with the theme: ”Exploring Alternative Approach Toward Tackling Corruption: The Role of Traditional and Religious Institutions.”
He said the conference organised with support from the Africa Centre for Environment & Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and UKAID-DFID was for stakeholders to discuss possible ways to tackle corruption through behavioural change approach, develop religious and traditional narratives that would counter corrupt practices as a solution.
He noted that corruption was manifested in different dimensions in both private and lives ranging from electoral malpractice, poor service delivery, contract inflation, bribery, money laundering, stealing, immoral behaviours, among others.
According to him, corruption has become systemic and endemic in Nigeria because most of those perpetrating corruption are religious affiliates whose religion’s doctrines abhor corruption.
He, therefore, urged religious and traditional leaders to be effective in tackling corruption in the public space, adding that injustice and lack of accountability in worship places and communities must be eradicated.
Presenting a paper, titled: ”The Role of Citizens in the Fight against Corruption,’ ‘the Kogi state Commissioner, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Mr. Chile Ogwuegbe, noted that no government could successfully fight corruption without the citizens taking ownership of the fight to eliminate the graft.
According to him, the success of the anti-corruption war depends mainly on the efficacy of anti-corruption legislators, judiciary’s pronouncement and conviction of proven corrupt persons, commitment from general awareness and resolve by the masses to stop impunity by corrupt elements.