Pope Francis offers Catholic Church's support for Buhari's war against corruption

POPE Francis has given his backing to President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-corruption campaign after his representative in Nigeria the Apostolic Nuncio recently voiced his support for the crusade.


Since assuming office two years ago, President Buhari has made the war against corruption his major priority, introducing numerous measures to stamp out graft. Praising the drive, the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria Archbishop Antonio Fillpazzi, has pledged Vatican support for the anti-corruption crusade and development of education sector.


Archbishop Fillpazzi said this yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to the foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama. He added that Pope Francis was interested in assisting the country to address its social economic problem and the challenge of irregular migrants to Europe.


“In the past and in the present, the Catholic has been part of development in education and social economic development and we wish to continue. There is no intention to withdraw in this commitment because it is part of our faith and our religion.


“As it is indicated by the president and the diplomatic community, I think that the Catholic Church can do a lot, especially in addressing the problem which sometimes comes from lack of education and information. The church will be preaching the gospel and also do orientation to the society, to be an example and solution to the problem of corruption," Archbishop Fillpazzi added.


He added that Pope Francis is interested in what corruption is and how to address the challenge. According to the archbishop, another area of interest for Pope Francis is addressing the problem of immigrants from Africa to Europe in a very daring situation which is the biggest problem of the United Nations.


Mr Onyeama replied: “We appreciate the good work that the Vatican is carrying out in various fields in Nigeria, especially in education and social economic and religious, so we look very much forward for you to continue. Though, we should not rely on the Vatican to solve our challenge but we certainly look forward to increasing cooperation from the Vatican.


 “We are faced with a number of challenges in the country, the first one is security, which we are facing in the northeast and south-south and one or two other areas in the country It is a major challenge for us and has led to humanitarian catastrophic, with the displacement of over two million persons."


According to Mr Onyeama, the government was pushing for the diversification of economy by moving away from an oil-dominated economy to the agriculture and manufacturing. He added that the country had also developed a road map and economic recovery plan and also putting emphasis on infrastructural development.