By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU – TRADITIONAL rulers and leaders of religious groups in Enugu state have pledged to sustain the fight against corruption.
The group made this vow during a one day anti-corruption town hall meeting organised by Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa with a theme; “Strengthening the moral institutions in building a corrupt free society” in Enugu.
The traditional rulers and religious leaders agreed to preach and uphold values of honesty, transparency and accountability, to promote justice devoid of personal gain and to strengthen their resolve against corruption.
Speaking on the role of traditional rulers in strengthening the anti corruption fight, Chairman, council of traditional rulers, Nkanu East LGA Igwe Hyacinth Edeani, who represented the Chairman, Enugu State Council of traditional rulers, Amb Lawrence Agubuzu, said that the traditional rulers in the state will prevail on government to provide social amenities to the people.
The traditional rulers can fight against corruption by prevailing on government to provide social amenities such as roads, water, health facilities and educational facilities. This is done to cushion the effects of poverty and deprivation which according him breeds corruption.
“Because of the honour and the respect given to the traditional institution they in a position to advise the society on corruption and that we do from time to time.
“Communities resilience to corruption is made possible by traditional rulers who make for the recognition of individual capacities, qualities and merits to avoid putting a square peg on a round hole whish is one of the causes of corruption. Traditional rulers should set shining examples because it is said that examples are better than precepts.
In his address, the Executive Director of Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa, PAACA, Mr Ezenwa Nwangwu who commended the traditional rulers and the religious leaders for standing against corruption in the state said that the state still possesed revered moral leaders and institutions which were yet to be corrupted.
Mr Nwangwu who pointed out that the fight against corruption should start from ourselves in our different community, pointed out that proper monitoring of projects by community leaders would curb corruption.
“We sort of the best platform to fight corruption but there is no other plaftorm that has the kind of cult following, fanatical following, respect and admiration like the leaders of traditional and religious institutions. And Enugu is unique because from studies, traditional institutions in Enugu is not as bastardized as it is in other places.
“In Enugu, we have a traditional system that is yet to be corrupted and that is why we felt that it is important to domicile this crusade in Enugu state. And within Enugu is where you have respected clergyman. People who still live their calling and are telling truth to power. But in telling truth to power, we should also tell truth to ourselves.
On his part, the Director of Information, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, who spoke on the role of religious institutions in strengthening the fight against corruption said, ‘that greed which engenders corruption is as a result of lack of faith on God.
“Leaders of religions in their effort to fight against corruption can use their influence to discourage ostentatious lifestyle which occupies and forms the average craving of every Nigerian. These desires fuel the hunger to steal from the public.
“Religious leaders have a lot of work to do in stemming the tide of corruption in our country they cannot be missing in action as the ones lies on them as the moral custodians of the society. It will therefore be tantamount to ineptitude for them to sit on the fence on this matter as some people tend to do.
Over 150 traditional rulers and religious leaders attended the event.