The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwumin Ambode, has accused religious leaders of instigating politicians to steal by the way they patronized the politicians and other influential individuals in the society.
According to him, most political leaders who get patronized by religious leaders are compelled to do anything possible to meet up with the expectations of the clerics.
Ambode stated this yesterday in Lagos at the annual public lecture organized by Christian Conscience.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul-hakeem Abdul-Lateef, claimed that religious leaders made higher demands from people in government without thinking about what they would do to meet such demands.
Ambode lamented that the common man who served God diligently got no recognition while religious leaders were busy patronising political leaders.
According to him: “When church and mosque want to do fund raising they will not look for people that are committed to the work of God but rather politicians and people in power whose salary is not up to N500,000 to come and launch N50 million project.
“This same politicians and people in power, when they came to church late, Pastor will ask congregation to stand up and clap for them whereas the poor person that came early to church nobody recognizes him or her.”
Speaking on the theme, “Religion and Corruption: Strategic Direction in Fighting Corruption in Nigeria” the governor said he had reduced the number of time he went to office as people usually besieged his office in hundreds seeking personal assistance.
He said: “In my office I see about 100 to 200 people daily that come to my office for personal assistant not something that will benefit the larger society, that is why my going to office is strategic because am tired of explaining to people that I don’t have.”
Corroborating him, a former Minister for Education and Convener of Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, campaign, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said corruption remained the greatest obstacle to Nigeria’s development and that until the problem was tackled from the source, Nigeria would not move forward.
According to her: “The church which is meant to be the salt of healing has failed and this is worrisome. We are all comfortable with corruption. There is need to consider reducing opportunities for corruption because battling corruption goes beyond Christian belief. We should enforce prosecution and sanction of bad behaviours to serve as deterrent for other evil doers.”