By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta
The Catholic Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese, Most. Rev. Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo on Sunday argued that the problems confronting Nigeria is not restructuring of the country but lack of quality leadership.
The cleric expressed the view that with the right leadership, the country’s structure is good enough for its leaders to solve its myriad of problems if they are patriotic and committed to the welfare of the citizens.
Odetoyinbo spoke at the SS Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during an interactive session with journalists as part of activities marking this year’s World Communications’ Day.
The theme of the 51st celebration was “Fear Not, For I Am With You: Communicating Hope and Trust in Our Time”.
Odetoyinbo reasoned that if Nigeria is restructured “the same leaders would be in charge of governance and then we would be back to square one.”
His words: “The Restructuring is borne out of agitation, political, economic emancipation, not religious. If restructuring will be good, what will come out it, if the present one (structure) is not good, what have we experienced from it. If we restructure, my question is, who will govern those areas we restructured? Is it not the same people governing now that will put themselves to govern and direct and control the affairs of the restructuring, where do we stand”.
He added “Are we not back to square one? Why not let us face what is needed to be faced now, treat ourselves well. Free ourselves from all that is battling against Nigeria then, restructuring will come. Change of mentality, change of mind, change of approach to many things then, when the restructuring comes it will bear the good fruit”.
He declared that if truly Nigerians want corruption to be reduced, if not totally eradicated, they would do it.
The cleric observed that there was need for the recovered funds from the country’s corrupt public officers who are undergoing trials to be included in the budget, explaining that such step would boost the peoples’ confidence in the current administration drive in the fight against corruption.
The cleric who was reacting to question on the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the last two years observed that, “while kudos should be given on the fight against corruption I think the recovered money should be in the budget.
“I don’t think it was. But, it is my suggestion that such recovered money should be included. People will feel okay to realize that our recovered money is what is being spent appropriately and make them to have confidence in the fight against corruption.”
He declared that, “end to corruption will come if all Christians in the country today, decided that there is no more corruption. Corruption will stop if all teachers decide today that it is an end to corruption. Likewise parents. We are in one way or the other part of the system. So, my take is that as far as Christians in this country say no more corruption there will be no more corruption. All of us if we want it (corruption) to stop, it will stop”.
On the recent alleged coup plot, the Clergyman said ” Why are they suspecting each other, they are suspecting themselves at the top, let them resolve it among themselves, let them sit down and reevaluate”.
Odetoyinbo commended media practitioners in the country for still remaining the hope of the masses in exposing the wrongs in the society, saying, “only God can reward you. But, don’t relent as we are relying on you to say the truth and expose the evil in the society, we shall continue to pray for you,” he said.
The Bishop however commended the state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun led administration for its performance, saying “No one can do everything, he is doing what he know how to do best”.
He appealed to him to fulfil his promise to return the mission schools to the right owner.
Speaking on the theme, the Director of Social Communications of the Diocese, Rev. Charles Soyombo urged media practitioners to be truthful and make objectivity the hallmark the profession, saying the world had been feed with bad news and sensational.
The Chairman of Catholic Association of Media Professionals, Mr. Simeon Ogundipe cautioned against bad reports as Nigerians prepared for 2019 general elections, urging Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to develop data base of journalists in order to flush out quacks from the profession.