The entire nation is under siege while the Nigerian government seems helpless, tThe Bishop of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Diocese of Umuahia Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Ibeabuchi said this Saturday as he delivered his presidential address at St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
On the occasion of the 13th conference of the Diocesan Association of Christian Men with the theme: “God knows you (Jeremiah 1:5).
According to him, “the whole nation is under siege while our government seems helpless. It is no longer a rumor that our once beloved country, Nigeria, has become terribly dangerous. Students and school children are adopted at ease, and people are kidnapped from their homes. Even our military bases, checkpoints and formations are not safe. Senior soldiers, our valiant soldiers are kidnapped and killed in military barracks without anyone being arrested.
“Something went wrong even inside the barracks. In some areas, farmers now pay taxes in cash or in kind before they can access their farmland to plant or harvest their crops.
“Our government is expert in sending soldiers to other parts of the country where there is relative peace and not to the northern region which has become a shadow of its former self.”
The church therefore condemned the “ticket of faith of our ruling party (APC)”, all forms of electoral violence during campaigns, voting, all forms of political violence, murders and bloodshed in name of politics, and the buying and selling of votes, while requiring law enforcement agencies to remain non-partisan and professional in carrying out their responsibilities.
“To date, there are security alerts from the United States Embassy, British High Command and Canadian High Command to their citizens respectively to avoid certain areas of Nigeria which have become prone to terrorist attacks, and the ‘national grid collapse for 8″ time and high electricity bills for consumers”.
He further stated “we need a totally new civil constitution made by a sovereign representation of the ethnic nationalities of this country, we are grateful to God that the long ASUU strike has finally been called off or suspended” and expressed sadness at the poor attention. given to institutions in Nigeria while politicians and the wealthy train their own abroad. I wish to bring a motion to this conference that the children of our political leaders MUST study in Nigeria. This is the only way to improve our facilities and also to take good care of the staff of our educational institutions”.
On drugs, the church noted, “We have problems as a nation. Unless we act urgently, we could probably lose our young to this virus. Our nation, Nigeria, is rapidly becoming a major drug hub in the world.
“It is obvious that the current Constitution of Nigeria does not work with so many loopholes. The effort made by the National Assembly to amend our current constitution is very commendable. We need a new national constitution made by the citizens and not the amendment of a constitution formulated by the army.
“The various state governments, including the federal government, appear to have been overwhelmed by this devastating flood threat. We call on all to come to the aid of those who are in the various IDP camps and also ask that drastic measures be taken to avoid future events.
“Lately it has been observed that the rail line around the state is being dismantled and washed away. Unfortunately, no one seems to be explaining anything to anyone. Can anyone help! What is happening? I’m sure the Feds promised last year to build a narrow rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri connecting Ajaokuta, Bonny Sea port etc. Are they now dismantling the rail line in order to start the works or are they trying to completely disconnect the southeast corridor from the railway line?
“When Nigeria is busy going from one level of inflation, recession, economic hardship, unemployment to another, some people have been busy feeding on the grease of our republic in the name of stealing oil and bunkering”.
On Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the church said, “We join all well-meaning Nigerians in calling on the Federal Government to seek a political solution to the South East issue and leave Mazi Nnamdi Kanu alone. We cannot be excluded from the affairs of the nation and at the same time forced to remain silent. We want to advise the Federal Government to please withdraw the appeal already filed in the Supreme Court by the Attorney General of the Federation, Malam Malami, in the best interest of this nation”.
While appreciating President Mohammadu Buhari for ordering the Nigerian Armed Forces to pursue and wipe out terrorists and who have drastically reduced the activities of terrorists and bandits since September 2022, the church also commended him for the signing of the electoral bill into law, the use of electronic transmission of results and the use of BVAS machines “provided they are not manipulated”
Regarding Abia State, the church said, “we always ask our state government to look after the payment of pensions for our elderly people. Letting them starve to death will not be in the best interests of our people. We are not satisfied with the level of development of our state at 31 years old.
Responding to questions from reporters, the chairman of the diocesan planning committee for the conference, Cyril Nwaubani, said the conference was appropriate as far as fathers are concerned, saying that it took cognizance of the fact that young people today are the fathers of tomorrow, hence the need to raise the many young people now.