Against the background of the mind-boggling revelations of monumental corruption from the probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to act “swiftly, decisively, and objectively” in the prosecution of individuals and organisations that may be found guilty.
Pastor Oladiyun, the Senior Pastor of the Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Omole, Lagos, Nigeria, said in a statement in Lagos that the much-touted war against corruption, for which President Buhari got the overwhelming mandate of Nigerians in 2015, has been a sham and a pretentious attempt to hoodwink Nigerians.
“I do not think the President has lived up to expectation around the war against corruption and corrupt elements. Corruption still walks all over Nigeria on four legs and we seem to have lost the courage and desire to fight it. The revelations from the NDDC and EFCC investigations are mind-boggling. This is a good opportunity for the President to exert his authority and ensure that those who have pillaged the wealth of the nation in any capacity are punished in line with the extant laws of the country.”, he said.
Pastor Oladiyun said he and some other pastors have been playing their roles in admonishing their congregations to eschew vices such as stealing, adding that it is the responsibility of government to identify corrupt public officers and sanction them without fear or favour.
The war against corruption should not be an empty rhetoric, he stressed, wondering why the relevant laws, policies, and machineries of government were not being fully deployed to sanction erring public officers.
“No nation succeeds or prospers with the gargantuan level of corruption that is on public display in Nigeria,” Pastor Oladiyun said, while calling on President Buhari to strengthen laws and institutions set up to fight corruption.
“Mr President cannot continue to feel cosy as politicians and their agents plunder the nation’s resources.
“I commend the President’s efforts in probing these institutions. But It is not enough to set up probes.
“What happens to the reports of the probes is more important. Nigerians are familiar with probe panels, but they are disenchanted with the lethargy and timidity that prevent the reports of the probe panels from being fully implemented”, he stressed.
On the role of the church in fighting corruption, Pastor Oladiyun said that Christian leaders must collectively rise in unity and work out advocacy and enlightenment strategies to complement the war against corruption in the private and public sectors.
The Church, he noted, “must be visibly seen, and loudly heard fighting corruption because people look up to their pastors for guidance and instruction.
“For me, corruption in any form is a no-no. I say it all the time on the pulpit that CLAM does not accept tithes and offerings from rogues and people of doubtful character.
“We do not want blood money in CLAM. All our ministers and congregation know this. I often say this during ministrations that God will not accept tithes paid from the proceeds of crime.
“We are not desperate; we do not welcome thieves no matter how much they want to give. I wish all churches could emulate this and mount a massive, unrelenting campaign against corrupt tendencies in the society.”
Pastor Oladiyun said hard work was sacrosanct.
Read him: “There can be no progress without process. Patience and focus are required for enduring success to take place; we should stop celebrating thieves. I am afraid of overnight success.”
Citing Proverbs 21:27, Pastor Oladiyun noted that the sacrifice of the wicked was an abomination unto the lord.
“Those who steal should not pay tithes until they repent. Churches must not receive tithes, offerings and first fruits from fraudsters”, he added.
He charged those who are stealing to stop, while referring them to Jeremiah 17:9-11.
“I speak as a national prophet. God does not support those who are stealing,” he declared.
Pastor Oladiyun called on Nigerians to stop hero-worshipping those whose sources of wealth cannot be easily verified.
“Also, if Nigeria is to regain its pride of place in the comity of nations, we all must collectively reject stealing, corruption and other vices that have continued to project the country negatively,” he advised.
Pastor Oladiyun reiterated his unshakeable belief in Nigeria and the amazing talents of Nigerians.
Referring to Isaiah 60:18, he assured Nigerians that God would surely cleanse the nation
His words: “So many things are happening all over the world to tarnish the image of Nigeria. Let me assure you that Nigeria is the best country in the world. All these challenges are not peculiar to Nigeria, they are all over the world.
“Serious crimes also happen over the world. We cannot use the acts of a few people to judge Nigeria. Many Nigerians are inventors, innovators, and thought leaders in the leading developed nations of the world. People like Phillip Emeagwali, Dr Oluyinka Olutoye, etc have proved that not all Nigerians are fraudsters.
“The creativity of Nigerians is amazing. We are a wonderful people. A Nigerian’s resilience cannot be broken. I want the whole world to know that not everyone in Nigeria is a thief. I appeal to youths to use their brain and stop indulging in unwholesome practices. Nigeria will surely blossom.”