Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Religious Leaders Must End Corruption, Segregation - Cleric

Ado-Ekiti — Anglican Church cleric Most Rev Francis Bankole, has warned religious leaders against segregation in the house of God, saying this is a major contributor to the social ills bedevilling the nation.

Bankole, who is the Dean of the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti, lamented that some religious leaders in the country no longer tell their congregation the truth, particularly the rich people, in their sermons owing to the benefits they derive from wealthy church members.

Delivering a sermon in Ado-Ekiti recently at the church service for the late Olori Abigail Oyeyemi Adejugbe, the cleric admonished religious leaders to focus more on societal values rather than give unnecessary attention to prosperity.

The deceased was the mother of the chairman, Ekiti State Universal Basic Education, Prof Modupe Adelabu, whose late husband was a blood relation to the reigning Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.

Rev Bankole added, "It's disheartening today that those that tell the truth are being rejected, even in churches.

"Sycophants are better placed. But truth remains the weapon of survival against a stormy life.

"Tell the truth always as politicians, pastors and parents, not minding whether you are crucified.

"We know those that have governed Ekiti in the past. We know those with ears, we know those with one ear and we know those with no ears at all.

"But those in any of these categories are now being judged by history.

"When Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe are mentioned, people bow their heads because of the sacrifices they made to develop the people.

"But at the mention of some leaders, people hiss because of the evil they inflicted on Nigerians."

Condemning the wide gap between the rich and the poor in the church, the clergyman lamented, "Today, we have a sermon for the wealthy and they are always very attractive and pleasant because their purses are the target and they do give.

"I so much pity the poor people, because they often get terrible sermons. But one thing is certain, the spending of the rich will result to nought, except they accept the truth and be righteous before God", the cleric maintained.

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi who attended the event with his wife Bisi described the late Adejugbe as a woman of virtue who fought relentlessly to uplift the lives of her children and Ado-Ekiti community.

Fayemi noted that the deceased gave her children the education they needed and also contributed to the socio-economic values of her country home.

Other dignitaries at the event included the former governor of Ekiti State Otunba Niyi Adebayo, governor of old Western Region Major Gen Adeyinka Adebayo, former governor of Osun State Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Gen Alani Akinrinade, members of House of Representatives from Ekiti State, among others.

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