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Corruption in Nigeria “will leave country tattered if not controlled,” Bishop Cautions

Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of Nigeria's Makurdi Diocese.

The Catholic Bishop of Nigeria’s Makurdi Diocese has condemned the high level of corruption in the country saying if not addressed, the West African nation will be left “tattered” by the vice.

“The high level of corruption being perpetrated by politicians and government officials will leave the country tattered, if not controlled,” Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe has been quoted as saying Tuesday, August 25 during his pastoral visit to St. Augustine Catholic Church, Makurdi.

Bishop Anagbe who is a member of the Claresians (CMF) added, “The economy of the country and welfare of the people are being sacrificed for the selfish interest of those who are opportune to be in positions of authority.”

He described corruption as a “can of worms” and worse than COVID-19 and other challenges facing the nation.

Bishop Anagbe’s concerns come weeks after the Local Ordinary of Abuja, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama decried “pervasive corruption” in Africa’s most populous country.

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“The recent revelations about pervasive corruption in some government sectors are terribly worrisome and unfortunate,” Archbishop Kaigama said July 26 during a televised Mass.

State agencies in the West African country have been on the spotlight over allegations of graft. 

The leadership of the Debt Management Office has been accused of misappropriating Naira 1.08billion (US$4.6 million), allegations that the organization's management has refuted.

Last month, following graft allegations, Nigeria’s National Assembly commenced an audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and North East Development Commission (NEDC), among other government sectors.

The Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International ranks Nigeria as the 146th most corrupt country out of 180 nations sampled.

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Speaking during Bishop Anagbe’s visit, the Superior-General of VIA Christy, Fr. Theophilus Hwande, called on those in authority to desist from abusing power but use it to offer selfless service to the people of God.

The Priest further urged the faithful to embrace the teaching of the Church and have personal encounters with Jesus Christ for positive change in their lives.