By Friday Idachaba
Lokoja – Imam Fuad Adeyemi, National Chief Imam and Executive Director, ‘The Just Foundation’, has called on religious leaders to partner with ∗government in the fight to curb the tide of corruption in Nigeria.
Adeyemi made the call at a two-day training organised for Imams and Islamic scholars in Kogi, on Sunday in Lokoja.
The religious leader said more than 99 per cent of Nigerians believed in God and in.one form of religion or the other.
He said that the training, organised by Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society in collaboration with the Just Foundation, aimed to broaden and strengthen the knowledge, expose and educate the Islamic clerics on what constitutes corruption.
He said the training would also afford them the opportunity to be acquainted with the devastating effects of corruption and equipped with the requisite knowledge to influence attitudinal change among their followers.
The national chief imam said that the organisation, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, was carrying out a project tagged: “Encouraging Accountability and Transparency through Faith-based Interventions (EAT-FIN).”
The main objective, he noted, include promotion of transparency/accountability and reduction of corruption in governance through teaching and preaching by religious leaders.
Adeyemi reiterated the need for a multi-sector approach in the fight against corruption by involving the religious leaders, to.check the menace of corruption.
“What we intend to achieve is that, apart from the fact that they will know it, they will also train other people within their organisations, their audience, their followers and at the end, we will begin to see the results.
Dr Musa Abubakar, Acting Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in his goodwill message, said religious leaders had pivotal roles to play in tackling corruption.
He noted that more than 99 per cent of the about 200 million Nigerian population believed in one form of religion or the other adding that no religion condoned corruption.
Represented by the Director of Education in the Commission, Alhaji Ashiru Baba, the ICPC boss said that the commission believed religious leaders could exert influence on the people to see corruption as evil rather than a way of life.
“Religious leaders are key stakeholders in the fight against corruption as far as ICPC is concerned.
” This is because corruption is a thing of the mind and religious leaders have pivotal roles to influence attitudinal change.
“We are banking on religious leaders nationwide, both Christians and Muslims,to influence the attitude of Nigerians to develop and imbibe zero tolerance for corruption.
“That is why we have continued to partner with religious organisations since 2007”, Abubakar said.