Former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, has blamed the problems facing Nigerians on politicians.
Akanbi spoke in Lagos yesterday as the chairman of the ninth Annual Lecture organised by AELEX Law Firm.
At the well-attended lecture with the theme; “In God’s Name: Politics, Religion and Economic Development,” the jurist said although there were some good politicians in the country, the majority of them were “crooked” and did not fear God.
According to him, unless the politicians turn a new leaf and stop being self-centred, the country’s woes may continue indefinitely.
The 81-year-old jurist added that he was worried for the country not because of himself as he had little more time to spend but because of the coming generation and his own children.
He said: “Most of the problems we are facing are caused by the politicians. The problems are not religious at all but political. “Nobody will go to church and hears the priest telling him to take up arms against his countrymen. Nobody would go to mosque and hears the Imam telling him to take up arms against compatriots.
As far as I am concerned, the Boko Haram people are not Muslims. “But the politicians would call on the name of God and defy the same God through their actions. Most of them have no fear of God. “They should know that they will be accountable to God both here and hereafter on the way they have lived their lives.
“I am not saying all the politicians are bad; there are good politicians, except that majority of them are bad, so many of them belong to the crooked generations.
“They should have the fear of God. I am not speaking because of myself for, at my age, how much time do I have left? I am worried because of my children.”
Also speaking at the event, the guest speaker, Professor Timothy Samuel Shah, an Associate Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkeley Centre for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, said any nation that did not allow religious freedom would find it very difficult to make real progress.
He said: “It is sad that many people are doing many violent things in God’s name; many terrible things are being done in the name of religion.
“In terms of economic development, the presence of vibrant religious communities in economic and civic life can limit the expansion of government and guard economic freedom.
“The freedom of religious association contributes to social capital in terms of social network and social trust, which can facilitate economic exchange and reduce corruption, and in turn, promote economic growth.”