Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, yesterday restated his resolve not to relent in his fight against corruption and injustice in the country.
Speaking yesterday at the second SNG State of the Nation Lecture held in Lagos, Bakare said his duty as a preacher does not end with saving souls in the church but also salvaging the soul of the nation.
He added that Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Daniel were prophets of God who were all involved in the politics of their nation when things went wrong.
“I believe in the culture of protest. We cannot keep quiet and watch the nation ruined by evil traducers. Why has the culture of corruption taken over the nation? Why it is that criminality no longer shocks us? Why can’t the state purge itself of corruption? The rain has flooded our country and washed the soul of the nation,” he said.
He said the January protest against the removal of fuel subsidy had exposed the corruption perpetrated by the ruling class.
He further said that the fuel subsidy probe exposed fraud of N1.7 trillion but lamented that those indicted by the panel were yet to be brought to justice.
“Nigeria is a curious case in which her citizens work together to ruin her,” he added.
In his lecture entitled ‘Reparations: What Nigeria owes the Tortoise’, the guest lecturer in the Department of English and Literature, Carlton University, Canada, Prof. Pius Adesanmi, said the major problems facing the country were corruption, greed and selfishness.
Using the tortoise in the traditional folklore to support his argument, the professor said successive governments after the First Republic, had, like the tortoise, wantonly appropriated the resources of the commonwealth.
He argued that if the premier of the old Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, had behaved like the tortoise that pocketed what was meant for all, the free education that he (Awolowo) introduced in 1955, would have suffered.
Prof. Adesanmi decried a situation in which the rulers congregate in Abuja every week to award contracts that would not be executed adding that anyone assuming the leadership of the country is only interested in reckless sharing of the national cake.
“Nigeria’s resources are shared every week. The rulers assemble in Abuja and read out figures of approved contracts. We are the ones who bear the brunt of the looting. Nigeria’s corruption is not even original. We have stolen the intellectual property of the tortoise. Consequently, Nigeria owes the tortoise reparation,” he said.
In his remarks, former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir El-Rufai said “Nigeria is at the cross-roads with crises of unprecedented proportion.”
He said there were protests in all parts of the country because the youth were aggrieved.
He said the situation would get worse unless the rulers had a re-think.