Clerics to Buhari: Corruption in govt, poverty, insecurity escalating
The Federal Government came under severe knock by notable clerics across the country on Saturday, as there were strident calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to act urgently and deliver the masses of the country from ravaging poverty, killing and possible disintegration of the nation.
There have been complaints of widespread hardship and unbridled loss of lives and properties to insurgents, armed bandits and herders as well as kidnappers and other criminals in recent rimes.
Thus, no fewer than three notable clerics from different parts of the country seized the occasion of various religious programmes held at the weekend to speak on the state of the nation, passinga damning verdict on the Federal Government.
Masses’ excruciating poverty, elite’s ostentatious life
The Bishop of All Saints Methodist Church, Nyanya, Abuja, Right Reverend Jacob Oluwatoyin Kehinde Adeyemi, in an admonition contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the ninth annual synod of the diocese, told President Buhari to take cognizance of the excruciating poverty among the masses in the face of the ostentatious lives of the elite.
Commenting on the state of the nation at the end of the synod with the theme: “Obedience to God Better than Sacrifice,” the synod urged President Bulhari to show more compassion to the poor, noting that “the gulf between the rich and the poor is alarming, with wider implications for the security of the country.”
The synod further called on the government to consider giving financial bailout to ailing manufacturing companies in the country, as it noted that such gesture would go a long way in stimulating industrialisation and mitigating the unemployment rate in the country.
The communiqué, signed by Reverend Adeyemi, read in part: “The synod identified the escalating insecurity in the country as very worrisome and admonished the government to demonstrate commitment and strategic actions to assure the citizenry that the government has their interest at heart. The synod reminded the leadership of this country that peace can facilitate economic and stable growth.
“The synod called on the President to show compassion and empathy for the abject conditions of the citizenry. The synod observed that the widening gulf between the rich and the poor does not speak well for the future of this great nation.
“The synod admonished government to consider bailing out our manufacturing companies to aid industrialisation. This will yield positive results, as it will reduce violent crimes and other forms of criminality and further engage the teeming youths profitably.”
The church, however, acknowledged the efforts of the government at addressing the infrastructure decay in the nation.
“The synod observed and appreciated the giant strides being taken by the Federal government in improving infrastructure in the country, especially in the roads and rail sectors.
“The synod admonished Christians to be patient with God to demonstrate that we are invincible as He (God) continues to defend us with His power.
“The Synod admonished Christians to be obedient to God’s word because obedience is better than sacrifice and that the biblical obedience to God means to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and His word.
“Finally, the synod appreciated President Buhari for signing into law the new minimum wage bill and promised to continue in prayers that naira exchange rate improves to make the increment meaningful to the Nigerian workers,” it added, while calling on other employers of labour to key into the new wage programmes “to ameliorate the sufferings of the Nigerian worker.”
Nigeria has more cases of corruption in Buhari’s govt –Archbishop
Similarly, the Anglican Archbishop of Lagos Province, the Most Reverend Olusina Fape, said there was more corruption in the nation’s system under President Buhari’s administration.
Fape, who doubles as the Diocesan Bishop of Remo, Ogun State, said this in a presidential address he presented to the 3rd Session of the 12th Synod of the Diocese of Remo (Anglican Communion), at the All Saints Anglican Church, Irolu-Remo, Ogun State, on Saturday.
The bishop added that the government’s fight against corruption ought not to be selective, saying “the ‘war’ must be fought holistically without any fear of favour; regardless of political affiliations of those found culpable.”
He said, “The present government rode to power on the goodwill of the people, because of the promise to fight corruption to a standstill and bring about positive change. Unfortunately, four years after, there seems to be more corruption in the system than they identified when they came in.
“The past four years have been devoted to blame games; accusing the past government of one wrong or the other. Nobody elected anybody to come and complain. People elected to govern should sit up and start addressing the perennial problems besetting this nation.”
Speaking further on the resolve of the synod with the theme; “The Glory of the Crucified Life,” Bishop Fape said the country was no longer a safe place, considering the nefarious activities of the Boko Haram sect and murderous herdsmen.
“There seems to be no respite for our nation, as far as the security situation is concerned. It is our prayer that God will expose those behind these evil groups and disgrace them out of our country,” he prayed.
He, however, commended the outgoing administration in Ogun State for turning the fortune of the state around within eight years.
Fape also admonished the state governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to take the state to a greater level.
Save Nigeria from disintegration –Bishop
In the same vein, the Archbishop of Anglican Diocese of Awka, Right Reverend Alexander Chibuzor Ibezim appealed to President Buhari to “act fast and save Nigeria from disintegrating.”
He pleaded with the president to bring the country together, in order to create true federalism “where everyone will freely work for national unity.”
Presenting his Bishop’s Charge to the third session of the 11th Synod at St Jude’s Anglican Church Adazi Ani in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, Ibezim decried the incessant attack by herdsmen on lives and property in some parts of the state.
He added that the level of bloodshed in the country was “very high with insecurity of lives and property, killing, kidnapping and assassination here and there” and that the majority of the populace is very hungry, due to economic difficulties.
Observing that “the judiciary and other arms of the government seem to have been ridiculed,” the bishop called on the president to bring the country together.
“More than 100 years after the birth of modern Nigeria, there can be no credible denial of its tottering steps to true nationhood. The gloomy signs are there for the blind to see.
“Despite the challenges we are facing, we strongly appeal to Nigerians to be positive and prayerful about our nation. An average American wakes up in the morning and says ‘God bless America.’ Surely, God is blessing America. It is only through this way that citizens can develop the right attitude that supports national development,” he admonished.
He noted that a better administrative structure and machinery of governance would save Nigeria from an impending collapse.
“The surest way to achieve this is for the president to actualize, in concrete terms, all his electoral promises within the shortest possible time. This will give Nigerians a sense of belonging,” he said.
The bishop reminded the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, that security needed to be addressed more seriously, as the once occasional robberies and kidnappings in the state had been on the rise.
He also decried the incessant herdsmen attack in some parts of the state.
On the theme of the synod; “The Victory That Has Overcome The World Even Our Faith,” Bishop Ibezim said; “considering the near hopeless situation in today’s Nigeria, one will see the promise of the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith, as essential in providing us ways to be confident of victory both in this temporal life and, most importantly, in the life to come.
“Such promise gives hope to already despondent people battling with the question of existentialism, both as individuals and as a nation, especially with the increasing certainty that the end of cosmos life is at hand.
“For instance, the lack of provision of medicals, education, security and other essentials of life has made the country to be in distress. Bribery and corruption stink to high heavens and these adversely affect our socio-political, religious and economic lives.”