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President Challenges Bishops on Morality
by Justus Waimiri
CAPA 041027-1
October 27, 2004

[CAPA - Nigeria] 

Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria -- President Olusegun Obasajo of Nigeria has challenged Anglican bishops meeting in Nigeria to provide courageous and godly leadership in matters of faith and moral conduct.

He said the bishops must be clear and authoritative voices on moral issues facing humanity. “The truth of the gospel must be preserved by all of us and particularly yourselves,” he said.

President Obasanjo was speaking when he addressed over 300 Bishops meeting in Nigeria for the first ever African Anglican Bishops conference (AABC) at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral on Wednesday.

The President urged the bishops to use the opportunity to make a strong case for debt relief for the African continent. He said the external debts had become a new form of slavery and reduced the living standards of the people.

He also singled out corruption for condemnation saying everybody had a duty to fight the vice. He said corruption negated options and opportunities for development and eroded the legitimacy of the state. It also contaminated the moral and spiritual foundations of society he said.

“It is important that you as clergy and leaders in society understand the challenges of moving society and citizens away from decadence, corruption and indolence.”

The head of state who is also the current chairman of the African Union appealed to the bishops to set an example on how to relate to the government amicably adding that religious leaders must not critise their governments unnecessarily.

The President was accompanied by several Cabinet ministers and other state officials. He was received on arrival by CAPA Primates and the Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola.

Welcoming the participants on behalf of Lagos State, Deputy Governor, Mr. Femi Pedro, said the conference was timely and was going to forge greater understanding among Africans.