The Catholic Bishop of Warri Diocese, Dr. John Afahera, has said that the country has adopted corruption as a department in its polity.
Speaking at the thanksgiving service by the Managing Director of Delta State Oil Producing Area Commission (DESOPADEC) Askia Ogieh, at St. Matthias Catholic Church, Uzere, Isoko South Council, the cleric expressed concern that corruption had been institutionalized, with the lust for materialism at its peak.
He further described corruption as terrorism working with Boko Haram to terrorize Nigerians, urging Ogieh to use his office to bring development to the areas of his mandate.
“We have institutionalized corruption. Presently, deprivation, ethnic cleansing and religious sentiments are symptoms of corruption, which fuels the worship of the rich by the poor. Rich men are worshipped and celebrated without impacting on the society. It is like terrorism, which is side by side with Boko Haram,” he said.
He thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the appointment, describing Ogieh as the epitome of thanksgiving and charity.
“I am urging you to use this appointment to bring more development to the areas of your mandate. I want to also commend you for the development you have brought to your people, even before this appointment.”
Responding, the DESOPADEC boss expressed appreciation to Governor Okowa, promising to let him down by living up to expectations.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. Your Excellency, I do not take lightly the huge confidence you reposed in my team with our appointments. It is a call to duty, a call to build a Delta primed to equip our people with the wherewithal to become entrepreneurs and by creating a clement environment for them to achieve their potential. I will not fail you. I will not fail our good people of Delta State.
“To our people in the oil-producing communities, I pledge that under my watch, we will be engaging and liaising with you in decision-making. In project execution, the desires and priorities of the communities will be paramount. This is an effective way of making the people buy into and own the projects in their respective areas,” he promised.
He noted that as an apostle of ‘politics is local’, his political followers, especially of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stock across Isoko could attest to his modest sharing of his successes with them.
“I can take that risk, after all, no good politician should be quiet about even the little things he has done for his people. And I think I am a decent politician, with special grassroots touch, even when I am not a wily one.
“It is in this regard, therefore, that the Bashorun Askia Foundation (BAF) will be encouraged more to carry out those activities that elevate the status of our people. I will, in this instant, encourage all of us to do the same, just as I will advise that we should not envy, deride, do or say things that may discourage those who are modestly sharing their successes with their brothers and sisters without means. We must all resist the worms that devour from within and among us,” he added.