Less than 48 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan praised himself for fighting corruption, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, has urged him to be less timid, but be fearless in his campaign against corruption in Nigeria.
Mr. Onaiyekan gave the advice when a delegation from the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society of Nigeria led by its Chief Imam, Fuad Adeyemi, called on him in Abuja.
The Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society of Nigeria was at the cardinal’s house to congratulate and felicitate with him on his elevation to a cardinal by the Vatican.
Mr. Onaiyekan said corruption in Nigeria was growing at a pace that required a fearless and honest leader to tackle it.
He said the revelations of massive corruption in 2012 alone showed that much needed to be done by the leadership of the country to tame the menace in Nigeria.
“What we have heard in the recent probes and are hearing from the various testimonies in 2012 alone shows that there is much to be done to fight corruption in Nigeria.
“I want to believe that the president is not intimidated by these so-called sacred cows. We are praying that God should give him the courage to fight this evil people.
“He should be fearless in handling this problem. He should know that Nigerians are behind him and will support him in this fight against evildoers in our country,” he said.
Mr. Onaiyekan described corruption as the bane of Nigeria’s development and the cause of many of the problems confronting the nation.
He warned the political leadership to be cautious of its policies, noting that many citizens were still unemployed and in need of genuine intervention from government.
The cardinal said religious leaders in the country would continue to play their parts by encouraging their followers to imbibe good virtues in all their endeavours.
He stressed the need for the political class to do more in addressing ills in the society and called for honesty on the part of public office holders in the country.
Mr. Onaiyekan also thanked the group for the visit and stressed the need for the faithful of both religions to be united for the sake of peace and prosperity in Nigeria.
In his speech, Mr. Adeyemi harped on the need for tolerance, peaceful co-existence among Christians and Muslims for Nigeria to evolve a virile and egalitarian society.
Mr. Adeyemi congratulated the new cardinal on his appointment, noting that it did not come as a surprise to the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society of Nigeria.
“We receive with joy the news of your elevation to the esteemed position of Cardinal by the Catholic pontiff.
“The news certainly did not come to us at Al-Habibiyyah society as a surprise considering your unprecedented record of peace making and leadership quality as CAN President,’’ he said.