Economic Crisis: Bishop Asks Tinubu To Grant Executive Pardon For Looted Public Funds’ Return

Bishop Kunama
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From Ankeli Emmanuel, Sokoto

The Methodist Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rt. Revd Dr Ishaya Kunama, has advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to grant one year executive pardon to those who have stashed ill-gotten wealth outside the shores of Nigeria to repatriate it without penalities as a way of boosting the nation’s economy.

Bishop Kunama, who made the call in Gusau, Zamfara State while addressing his congregation on the 2024 Synod with the theme, “Arise and Build”, stressed that taking initiative and being proactive were critical assets needed to pursue growth and progress at all times.

The outspoken cleric, while noting that “the state of Nigeria today as a nation is a complex tapestry of challenges and opportunities that is characterized by a mix of political, social- economic and security issues”, added that President Tinubu can rally round intellectuals, clerics and diplomats just like Nehemiah did and rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem amid adversity and opposition.

Bishop Kunama said: “Doing this would guarantee a sure solution to Nigeria’s  economic challenges of high unemployment rates, inflation, and inadequate infrastructure and help create job opportunities, promote sustainable development, and improve the standard of living for all citizens.

“”Nigerian economy has been facing challenges in recent years, with many citizens feeling the impact of a struggling financial system. But these can become a thing of the past if  President Bola Ahmed Tinubu can consider creating a “Window of Grace Period” by granting “Executive Pardon” for Nigerians to repatriate all abroad stashed funds and plough them into the economy to stimulate financial stability.

“”Same pardon will also be granted to those within the country that have amass  questionable wealth and are afraid to bring such funds back into circulation for fear of being caught and facing legal repercussions hence  hoarding such funds to further deplete the economy of the much-needed resources'”.

Continuing, Bishop Kunama said the one-year pardon for all ill-gotten wealth will create windows of opportunity for Nigerians to bring their looted funds back into the country, hence strengthen our banks and create jobs. He however added that, Nigerians should also see those that will comply as heros and also forgive them within that grace period. 

“”The infusion of these funds into various sectors of the economy would provide the much-needed capital for businesses to expand, leading to a revitalization of economic activity””, 

Bishop Kunama urged President Tinubu to massively support and empower the relevant anti-corruption agencies to go after any violator at the expiration of the one year “Window of Grace” period and ensure that they are severely punished in accordance with the laws of the nation. 

“”Nigeria is marked by widespread corruption, which has plagued the country for many years. This corruption has undermined effective governance, eroded public trust, and hindered economic development. Like the broken walls of Jerusalem, Nigeria’s integrity and reputation have been damaged, requiring a concerted effort to rebuild trust, ensure transparency and accountability in all aspects of governance and public service””. Kunama stressed. 

The Sokoto Diocese Methodist Bishop further submitted that the security walls of Nigeria are also broken hence the threats from insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, farmers-herders crisis and communal conflicts here and there leading to loss of lives, displacement of communities, and widespread fear and insecurity. 

“‘Just as Nehemiah faced opposition and threats while rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, Nigeria must confront these security challenges with courage, collaboration, and effective strategies such as unity and collaboration, leadership and accountability, economic reforms, helping and peace building, good governance, and national reconciliation capable of building trust and social cohesion,” he added.

To the Methodist congregation, Bishop Kunama quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 that, “”Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land”, hence urging them to remain in the faith despite challenges.

“It is only with such resilience, commitment and perseverance to God’s words that, the Christians in Nigeria can build a strong and vibrant community of believers through perseverance and resilience,” the bishop stated.

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