The Bishops also acknowledged the mindless bloodletting and kidnapping in Imo State, which has caused unrest in recent times.
Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), lamented the country's elevated corruption levels during a sermon delivered yesterday. The sermon took place at a thanksgiving Mass held at Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri, in honor of the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Governor Hope Uzodimma’s re-election.
Ugorji stated, “Corruption is a worrisome vice in our public life. It has gone beyond scale and measure. Corruption is a very complex reality involving moral rottenness, defilement, and loss of integrity.”
“It spans a very wide spectrum, ranging from bribery, embezzlement, inflation of bills, abuse of office, nepotism to the looting of public property, cultism, impersonation, false declaration, examination malpractice, alteration of date of birth, ghost worker syndrome, quackery, and manipulation.
“Corruption is corrosive, polluting, debasing, and infectious. Already contaminated, the lives of most of our people, young and old, are deeply steeped in corruption.
“Corruption is one of the major reasons millions of our people have been reduced to a life of grinding poverty, undeserved misery, and wanton suffering.
“In the war against corruption, we should, however, not lose sight that this vice has many dimensions. It is an economic problem, which could be minimized by the improvement of the economy.
“This is because some people take to corruption in other to support many of their dependants; among whom are those who have completed their education and could normally cater for themselves should they have gainful employment.
“Accordingly, while the government enacts laws to eliminate bribery and corruption, concrete and concerted efforts should be made to improve the working conditions of workers, create more jobs, equip youths with job market-driven skills, and provide for the spiritual and moral enlightenment of our people, especially the young ones in school.”
On the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, Ugorji said there was a need to remember those who lost their lives in various wars and armed conflicts, stressing that they were fighting to preserve the lives of others.