The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, has urged Nigerians to go beyond prayers in the fight against corruption by imbibing and practising values that witness to honesty and nobility.
Cardinal Martins said this in Lagos on Thursday at the 10th Anniversary of the Anthony Cardinal Okogie Annual Lecture, entitled, “Creating a Corrupt-Free Society in Nigeria: The Role of the Church.”
The Catholic Archbishop urged Nigerians to put aside personal interest, political convenience and bitterness in the fight against corruption which “our common enemy”.
According to the Cardinal, “Those with the mandate to facilitate this process should be guided by a true sense of justice and act in accordance with the rule of law.
“The war against corruption is not just a battle for virtue and righteousness in our land but a fight for the soul and substance of our nation.
“It is a collective responsibility that requires our collective efforts. All Nigerians must be part of the struggle which ought to be carried out at all levels in order that we may recover our wasted opportunities.
“To guarantee sustainable success in fighting corruption, Nigerians must transcend ethnic, religious and regional affiliations and sentiments.”
Cardinal Martins said for Nigerians to curb corruption, they must imbibe the virtue of selflessness and learn to be sensitive to the needs of others.
He admonished Christians to, “Embark on the willingness to share with others what the Lord has entrusted to us and to generally be more concerned about the welfare of one another.
“Each one of us must make it our priority to respect one another, enhance the dignity of one another and appreciate hard work as there is no such thing as cheap peace or progress or an easy way out.”
In his remarks, former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, urged the church to be at the front in the fight against corruption.
He urged religious leaders to inculcate good morals and godliness in members of the church to enable them refuse unsolicited gifts from people with questionable characters.
Twenty-one students were selected to benefit from Cardinal Okojie’s foundation educational scholarship funds.