Why Fight Against Corruption Should Start From Church By Olusola Alatise

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I was at a Sunday school service in my church being a Pentecostal, it was during the questions and answers segment that one of the elders asked a question on why we don’t have people at the helm of affairs doing wonders as it were in the days of the old, specifically like Nehemiah, Gideon Samuel, David, Solomon and others.

The Sunday school topic of that day was on Gideon, which the Bible refers to as a man of valour, a valiant and prudent judge in Israel. He was able to pull a large number of soldiers in his army, brought an end to the seven years of Midianite’s oppression and destroyed the altars of baal among others and died at age the Bible recorded a good old age.

The elder wondered that the leaders appointed or ordained by God in the old testament were not 100 percent clean before they were ordained, yet they did well as soon as the anointing fell on them. He mentioned names like Nehemiah, David, Samson, Samuel among others.

Series of answers were freely given or provided, but one that was very funny and caught my attention was the one that attributed the failure of the leaders to what he called the practice of democracy. It was funny to me because I used to ask if we are practicing true democracy or monetized democracy .

I asked this question because liberal democratic process is supposed to be based on the assumption that the electorate are granted the freedom to choose, determine the future of their country and their individual/collective future as well. When they make mistakes, they bear the consequences, but few years later, four or five years, under the constitution, they may also be allowed the opportunity to correct their mistakes and hope for the best within the framework of representative democracy. But a drawback to all that, I argue, has been money, described elsewhere as the root of evil. The connection between evil and money has been a principal bane of democracy, turning democracy, that same vehicle that is supposed to bring good tidings into a vehicle of mixed blessings – the good and the ugly.

Are we where we are because of the so called  democracy? I was tempted to disagree. The Parliamentary system copied from our colonial master, Britain in the first Republic and from second Republic till date is practiced in a civilized manner by its originator.

I think our leaders are not delivering as of the old because of our own making. We didn’t allow God to choose for us but select our leaders based on our human knowledge and understanding which most of the time are contrivance to the inherent leadership qualities.

Some of our leaders are selected based on their financial capabilities. This capability is not only for the legitimate resources, but for the money they can  use for illegalities that will ensure their pyrrhic victory whichwill not only result to failure in office but sin against masses and our maker.

Besides money, which are not their legitimate earnings, we always look at the ‘intimidating’ academic credentials, their proficiency and oratory power. Some of their credentials were earned from foreign universities  where most of them are unknown and could not be compared to any any of our universities here.

It is even funny that this abnormalities of not appointing leaders according to the dictate of God has creped in to the religious centers . Honestly, one will be surprised to hear some free minded people saying their not going to church even on Sundays was as a result of the attitude of so called religious leaders. There is little or no difference on the mode of attaining ecclesiastical titles and church leadership positions.

What are the parameters using in ordaining or selecting leaders in some of our religious centre today? Is it not according to the tithe or type of vehicles brought to worship centres, as well as contributions to the development of the centre (Church/Mosque) not minding the source of their wealth.

The bad leaders and even the harden criminals in our society today are either Isaac or Ismail

If it were in our society today, there is no way any of the aforementioned leaders in the Bible could have emerged. How can the likes of David been anointed king of Israel instead of his brothers Eliab. Oral history would had disqualified Solomon if it were to be human knowledge that was used in their selection like the present day delegates or general election.

One wonder that Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God , RCCG at a special service organised to mark 2017 Father’s Day at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja. said, for corruption to be completely eradicated in the country, the fight against the menace must start from churches.

He said it was only when church leaders resolve to ostracise and expose corrupt members of their congregation that the problem could be solved.

The Vice President, who  is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, said church leaders must begin to talk more of honesty, unlike the current situation that more emphasis is placed on giving.

“Every time that we come to church, we are told about giving. But we need to talk more about honesty. We need to talk far more about honesty. In the same way we talk about giving, we need to talk more about honesty,” he declared.

Osinbajo said church leaders must be ready to confront their members who are living above their means.

He said once the church took its rightful place and decide to expose treasury looters, the nation’s problems would be solved.

Osinbajo said, “If the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracise you in our midst if you did -if what a man has does not measure up to what he earns; if we found that a man has more money than he should have, if a man is earning a salary of a civil servant or a public servant and he has houses everywhere, we have to hold him to account.

“He must be held to account in the church. He must be told first in the church that ‘we will not allow you here.’

“If the church says ‘we will not accept you here’ or that ‘we will expose you if you are stealing the resources of the country or stealing the resources of a private company or other establishment where you work,’ then we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country. If only the church does so. Just the church.”

With this coming from somebody who had seen it all in the field of academic being a professor, law; as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Politics; former Attorney General and now Vice President of Nigerian, the most populous black nation of the world, one can easily answer that electing or appointing leaders based on our human knowledge can hardly give us anything near the old because we are not God. It is only God that can give us blameless leaders. But, we should not forget that God created human being in his own image and wants us to do the right always.

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