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We must hold our leaders accountable —Okogie

From left, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese, Most Reverend (Dr) Alfred Adewale Martins; Anthony Cardinal Okogie; Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight of St. Mulumba,Charles Mbelede; Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Right Reverend (Dr) Gabriel Dunia and Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Reverend (Dr) Gabriel Abegunrin, at the 9th annual Anthony Cardinal Okogie Lecture/Foundation held at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos State. PHOTO: SYLVESTER OKORUWA.

THE Catholic  Emeritus Archbishop of  Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okojie, has called on Nigerians to hold leaders accountable for their actions.

He stated this while delivering his message at the he ninth annual Cardinal Anthony Okojie lecture, held at McGovern Hall, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos State, last week.

Okogie, who called on Nigerian to ensure that leaders are held accountable for all their actions, advised Nigerians to ensure that leaders obey rules because this was the only way corruption could be eliminated.

According to him, “We must not give them free hands to steal our resources but to always check their excesses and always put them on their toes so that they will do the right thing.”

In his keynote address at the event, the Catholic Archbishop of  Lagos, Most Reverend (Dr) Alfred Adewale Martins,  said that Nigerians were hungry and as such, government needed to look into the welfare of the masses.

“The current recession in Nigeria has seriously increased the rate of crime. The church which is suppose to inspire people spiritually has become corrupt as fake clerics, especially those who are only there to make money and not to build the faith of their members, have infiltrated the church.

“For Nigeria to be a better place, Nigerians must be physically and spiritually empowered to fight corruption,” Martins stated.

He also noted that the lecture/foundation was aimed at raising funds that would be used to educate the underprivileged, especially those in need of education.

Professor Isaac Ukpokolo, a lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, while delivering his lecture entitled: “A nation in need of renewal: The role of mercy and justice,”  said that  Nigeria was a vision of the British government and that it was not yet fit to be called a nation because the country was a combination of geographical states living together as a country.

“For Nigeria to be a nation, Nigerians must come together, talk and agree to live together as a nation. This means that the present government must restructure the nation so that we can discuss and set up a true federalism system of government,” he stated.

Professor Ukpokolo, however, recommended that Nigerians should unite and use their diversity in tribes to develop the nation, saying that the call by Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and other groups for  breaking up of Nigeria into regions  would not help but cause more problems.

Also in attendance at the event were the Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Reverend (Dr) Gabriel Abegurin and the Bishop of Auchi, Right Reverend Gabriel Dunia.