An NGO, the Just Foundation, has involved religious leaders in the fight against corruption by training them on the concept on governance.
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Imam Fuad Adeyemi made the disclosure in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria while on an advocacy aimed at enrolling Islamic clerics into the Foundation’s anti corruption project.
The Imam explained that the Clerics will be trained on how to monitor budgets and project locations that were given deadlines.
“After sensitizing the clerics, we will empower them to speak on the effects of corruption, and what they need to disseminate to the public, saying, so that when government is fighting corruption from above, the clerics will reach out to the grassroots” he said.
Imam Fuad further explained that the project, being funded by grants from the MacArthur foundation, would focus on empowering religious leaders to speak more about corruption and its ills.
“Rather than constantly preaching prosperity which potentially creates despondency, triggers a sense of competition and desperation to get rich at all costs, we will rather encourage and support the imams, preachers and their followers to speak against those who use their positions and opportunities to cheat and loot our treasury to their own selfish and ungodly advantage”.
In his response, the President, Muslim Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Olopade Sulaimon said recruiting the scholars and clerics into the Foundation will go a long way in reaching out to Nigerians who decide on whom to govern them.
“The reason corruption has found its place in our system, is because the society condones it, many corrupt leaders are celebrated in Nigeria, hence the need to compliment government’s efforts in the fight”, he stressed.
Sulaimon mentioned that, lack of law enforcement on all citizens irrespective of class in the society is also a cause of corruption, adding that, with the religious leaders on board, they will inform their followers the effects of the menace and the necessary actions to be taken.
Earlier in his remark, the Co-Director, Interfaith Mediation Centre of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Kaduna, Imam Muhammad Ashafa said the crusade of bringing forth a religious leader from the temple of the Mosque to the public to speak on the ills of corruption is a welcome idea.
“Elements of corruption begin with the ordinary man who refuses to pay his bill, tampers with his electric meter, breaching trust and not obeying the rules of law amongst others” Ashafa said.
He said they will ensure the menace is tackled, starting from the mosque where issues of daily livelihood are being discussed for the benefit of the Nation.
The organization expected to be visited by the team include, Muslim Council of Nigeria, JNI, Fityanul Islam, Muslim for Accountability and FOMWAN respectively.