Posted by Nigerians don't need IBB- Bishop Okonkwo on
From the pulpit a caution has been sounded to ex-military President, Ibrahim Babangida to bury the dream of ruling Nigeria again. National Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria
From the pulpit a caution has been sounded to ex-military President, Ibrahim Babangida to bury the dream of ruling Nigeria again. National Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Mike Okonkwo told Daily Sun in an interview on Sunday that it would be foolhardy for Babangida to attempt to contest the 2007 presidency.
Bishop Okonkwo, the immediate past president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) doubted if Babangida was serious about running for the presidency. He, however, added that if it was true the former president intended to contest in the next election, he would advise him to jettison the idea because "it will not work."
"I donít think Nigerians want IBB back. He should just honourably be contended with the position of a statesman. He should not venture to rule the country again."
The cleric has a further advice for Babangida: "He should mind those who are dancing around him. I think their interest is in money and nothing more."
Asked if it was morally right for Babangida to want to lead the nation again after ruling previously for eight years and leaving dishonourably, the CAN leader contended that almost every other person who had ruled the nation at one time or the other had run the nation aground.
Bishop Okonkwo maintained that while he would not favour the return of Babangida to the saddle, he would, however, not subscribe to putting the whole blame of the nationís woes on one person.
According to him, Nigeria had all it takes to be great and that with re-engineering and sincerity on the part of the government, the nation would eventually be out of the woods.
He expressed concern about perceived selective treatment of public officers involved in the recent bribery scandal in the National Assembly.
Bishop Okonkwo told Daily Sun while reacting to the N55 million bribery scandal that there were evidence to show that President Olusegun Obasanjo was selective in dealing with those involved in corrupt practices.
The bishop of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) queried: "Why for instance should Professor Fabian Osuji (former education minister) be dismissed, while those in the Senate who took the bribe were not told to resign? The weekend papers reported the president as saying he did not tell the Senate President, Adolphus Wabara to resign why should that be?í When the punishment is quick but one sided, people are bound to query president sincerity."
The cleric said he was not surprised about the indictment of the senate leaders in the bribery scandal because "there have been evidence in the past to show that the National Assembly is not clean."
"That is to show us the level of degeneration in the nation. We should be honest to admit that Nigeria has degenerated so badly. We must come to terms with this reality and then decide that there should be no more sacred cows," he said.
Okonkwo commended the president for speaking boldly about the bribery scandal but added that Obasanjo should take the bull by the horns and ensure that indictment and punishment for all culprits should be total.
"If we must have a future, we should be honest and sincere to confront corruption headlong. We should start from the kindergarten and nursery school to race a fresh crop of Nigerians with a new orientation, with patriotic spirit and moral values inculcated in them so that they grow up to lift up the nation.
"Then for those of us who are adults any credible government should come and tackle corruption headlong. Whoever is found to be corrupt should be prosecuted and jailed," he advised.
The bishop said every Nigerian should see the curbing of corruption as an assignment to accomplish, adding that Uganda is almost free of corruption after serious battle was waged to rid the country of the cankerworm.
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