By Jessica Dogo
Abuja – Rev. William Okoye, General Overseer of All Christian Fellowship Mission (ACFM), has urged the Federal Government to be very firm in order to deal with the problem of corruption effectively.
Okoye made the call during the Abuja-based mission’s Pentecost Service on Sunday, which has the topic “God’s Power for a Corrupt-Free Society’’.
“Government has to be in the forefront of fighting corruption, as it is to be expected.
“But there is also the need for firmness in dealing with it so as to achieve good results,’’ he said.
Okoye said corruption could be better fought by sensitising the public to its evils and the penalties through civic education.
“We can also develop and implement anti-corruption codes as the standards to measure our success in this regard.’’
He pointed out that corruption causes personal, social and economic damage, as well as it contributes to the poverty of the people in the country.
“It is pervasive and it has invaded and infected every strata of the society,’’ the cleric said.
Okoye also said corruption results in the excessive centralisation and abuse of power, injustice, looting, poverty, insecurity of life, homelessness of the poor, collapsed infrastructure and hypocrisy.
He noted that corruption persists when there are no well-articulated and enforced reprisals for corrupt practices, and when the stigma attached to corruption is low.
“Corrupt people are accorded recognition in the society when they flaunt their ill-gotten wealth, and society no longer questions sources of personal wealth.
“The mechanisms for fighting corruption in the society are not always in place. There are poor checks and balances, and abuse of authority and leadership positions.
“There is a lack of information flow, religious bigotry and hypocrisy.’’
Okoye pointed out that the Holy Bible had provided the moral, spiritual and ethical codes of dealing most effectively with corruption and called on Christians to listen and take heed.
“It is better to die poor than die with soiled hands,’’ he said.
The ACFM general overseer further said that the set of capacities necessary for building up the moral fabric of the society depended on the religious institutions.
“The church is well placed to draw upon the true spiritual roots of motivation which lie at the heart of human identity and purpose.
“True transformation begins inside a person when he or she has made contact with Jesus Christ.
“The church must lead the way in the process of individual self-transformation.
“So, we must teach what the Bible says about corruption, as well as hold and conduct seminars to educate church people about the evils of corruption.
“We should also publicly condemn corrupt practices in the local church and in areas of influence.
“Leaders should lead their congregation by their own example,’’ Okoye said.