Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Moslem and Christian clerics have tasked political leaders on accountability and stewardship, urging them to shun corruption and avarice.
The clerics spoke during a seminar for Councilors drawn from Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano Local Government Areas of Abia State, organised by the University of Nigeria Nsukka Muslim Community in conjunction with Mambayya House of Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies, Bayero University, Kano.
The theme of the seminar was: “Promoting Accountability and Anti-Corruption through Behavioural Change Approaches, Interfaith meetings with Elected Representatives.”
The cleric’s stressed the need for elected representatives of the people to give account of their stewardship devoid of manipulation.
According to them, accountability is the flavour of democracy, hence, elected representatives should should be responsible and accountable.
The clerics insisted that integrity is better than questionable riches.
They regretted the effects of corruption in the Nigeria society, and called for a change of attitude.
The clerics asked political office holders to be ready for the account of their stewardship.
In a remark, the Chief Imam of Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Dr Ibrahim Ewetola, urged leaders to underscore the importance of given genuine account of one’s stewardship in position of authority and try to shun corruption no matter the temptations at his disposal.
He regretted that many occupants of public office use it to illegally enrich themselves to the detriment of society.
The Imam condemned the mentality among political office holders that it is difficult for one to serve in public places without soiling his hands with the spoil of the office.
“Let our behaviour portray who we are as men of integrity. Let people emulate us from our good exemplary behaviour. If you are a leader you are a role model, people should be able to see you as such,” he said.
Speaking, a Christian cleric and the General Overseer of Abundance of Christ Church, Agbama Housing Estate, Umuahia, Rev. Dr Lawrence Uwaoma, regretted that it would take decades to deal with corruption in Nigeria.
Speaking on the topic: Promoting Accountability and Anti-Corruption: Role of Stakeholders, he said “you cannot promote accountability, anti-Corruption when you are not transparent in serving the people.”
“Leaders withhold salaries meant for workers without thinking how it would adversely affect them and their families,” he regretted.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director of the group, University of Nigeria Nsukka Muslim Community,UNNMC in conjunction with Mambayya House of Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies, Bayero University, Kano, Dr M. A Saddiq, represented by Engr Sikiru Salawu, the Deputy Director of ICT, UNN, urged the participants to stay away from corruption.
He said that the workshop was sponsored by MacArthur Foundation, geared towards promoting accountability and curbing corruption among elected representatives of the people.
Some of the participants who spoke during Experience Sharing session commended the organisers for coming up with such a lofty workshop, promising to apply the lessons for the good of all.