THE Chief Imam of the Fouad Lababidi Central Mosque, Wuse, Abuja, Sheik Tajudeen Bello, has said that it is extremely difficult to eradicate corruption, because individual Nigerians are not committed and acting against it despite saying it even publicly.
The cleric said this on Monday in Abuja at a two-day Training of Trainers (ToT) for Imams and scholars in FCT and environs organised by the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society (AIS) and the MacArthur Foundation under the Project EAT-FIn (Encouraging Accountability and Transparency through Faith-based Intervention).
“Despite talking about anti-corruption in the society and the country at large, individuals are not genuinely committed to fighting corruption. So corruption cannot be totally eradicated, it can only be reduced because it has been seen as part of life in the society,” Bello said.
According to him, one of the reasons why it is difficult for imams and scholars to fight corruption was due to their lack of lawful source of income.
He said, “So they must find halal (permissible) source of income to cater for themselves and their families. If that is not possible, they should resign from their imam position and go to the market to look for halal source of income. And they must not shy away from telling the truth at all times.”
The Executive Director of the Just Foundation of Al-Habibiyyah, Imam Fuad Adeyemi, said the ToT was due to the importance the Muslim clerics and scholars hold in the society as agents of change and practical example of worthy living.
“If there is no corruption, the people would be able to get their rights and if they get their rights, they would not care where the leaders come from in any part of the country, since they are sure of getting their rights,” Adeyemi said.
The Coordinator of the Project EAT-Fin Dr Rekiya Momoh-Abaji, said women are involved in the training as they have great influence on their husbands, children and the society, even when they are not mostly seen openly like men.
Also, the duo of a former MD of the Team Nigeria Trust Fund (TNTF) and Shura council members of the Al-Habibiyyah, Alhaji Suleiman Baba-Ali and the Commissioner, Education of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Dr Muhammed Ashiru Baba, stressed the importance of knowledge and commitment to values to engender winning the anti-corruption war.