By Gilbert Ekezie
The The Prelate of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka-Uche has frowned upon the gruesome murder of a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, by Islamic extremists in Sokoto recently.
He said the relentless killing of Christians would no longer be tolerated and called on the National Assembly to enact a bill that would discourage barbaric killings in the name of religion.
He said so during his Apostolic/Farewell Tour of the Archdiocese of Lagos at Wesley Chapel, Lekki.
Uche expressed serious concerns about the current state of the nation and blamed Christians in the National Assembly for not having the interests of Christians at heart. According to him, “it is regrettable that our Christian legislators do not represent us well. They should enact a bill that no one should be killed based on their religion, and if the president signs it, then it becomes law.
The Prelate insisted that killing in the name of religion is a rude and uncivilized way of life, advising Nigerians to promote love and harmony among themselves.
He also condemned those who ask “a particular tribe” to leave the country, saying those who are told to live are even more Nigerian than those who ask them to leave.
“It is necessary to avoid ethnicity, tribalism and religious extremism. The Methodist Church has always preached love and egalitarianism. Those who want to destroy us will end up committing suicide.
Uche, who will retire at the end of November this year, advised political parties to allow the best people to emerge as candidates in the ongoing primaries, saying the worst downside would be allowing criminals , jobbers and those who do not have a good track record to serve as President, Governors, Senators, Members of the State House of Representatives/House of Assembly, President of the local government and councillors.
He said: “We want the best but maybe that was defeated when they commercialized everything, asking presidential aspirants to pay N100m for the form. With that, they bring in hooligans and wolves to run the country, and that doesn’t bode well for us.
“But if they insist on it, we don’t want consensus candidates, everyone should go to the polls during the primaries and the votes should be counted openly.”
Uche, who is the first Igbo to become a prelate of the Methodist Church in Nigeria after 121 years, also urged voters to vote wisely for the candidates of their choice in the 2023 general election.
“Voters should vote according to their conscience and not mortgage their future and that of their children by raising money and voting for the wrong people,” he said.