The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, has implored President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to urgently tackle the growing hunger and economic hardship facing Nigerians.
In the wake of a communiqué issued on Sunday in Abuja, after the Church’s Standing Committee meeting, Primate Ndukuba’s message was clear.
The communiqué, endorsed by key church figures including Primate Ndukuba, the Dean Most Rev. Blessing Enyindah, and the General Secretary Ven. Gershinen Paul Dajur, stressed the critical state of national affairs and called for repentance and resistance to apostasy.
The document spotlighted government plans and policy directions, the fight against corruption, judiciary concerns, the faltering economy, and the neglect of quality education.
It also condemned ongoing attacks across several states and urged the government and security forces to uphold their duty to protect citizens and their property.
The communiqué further reiterated the need for a civil and democratic constitution that truly represents the populace, ensuring no group is sidelined or oppressed.
It partly reads, “The Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) therefore calls on the President and government to rise to the occasion of the challenging issues facing the nation:
“All corrupt public office holders and their collaborators should be brought to book and disciplined accordingly. We call on the Judiciary to do more to guarantee justice in the country.
“The Nigeria economy has been a subject of great concern due to its diverse and biting challenges. It is currently at its lowest ebb since independence with macro-economic indicators moving in discouraging directions. Monetary policies have been inconsistent, non-supportive of economic growth, ineffective and cost-push inflation has been out of control resulting in high food prices. Nigerians are hungry.
“We, therefore, call on the government to have a rethink on its penchant for external borrowing, give proper attention to fiscal policies, and diversify its economic base by harnessing our abundant natural resources.
“The Standing Committee meeting decries the constant attacks in Plateau, Zamfara, Ekiti, Ondo, Benue, parts of Imo and Anambra States and other parts of the country. It therefore calls on the government and statutory security agencies to rise to their responsibilities of protection of the lives and property of the citizenry, giving heed to the call for effective community policing.
“We note with dismay the failure of government to provide quality education for her citizenry, which has compelled Nigerians to seek admission in other countries, thus spending huge sums of money in foreign countries, thereby weakening the Nigerian economy.
“The Standing Committee renews her call for a totally civilian and democratic Constitution made by a sovereign representation of her people and not the continuous amendment of a military formulated Constitution. This will reflect the birthing of the government of the people in a new Nigeria.”
During an extensive interaction with journalists, the Archbishop Ndukuba addressed multiple pressing issues, including the purported involvement of religious organizations in sponsoring terrorism.
He called on the EFCC to operate independently and hold religious bodies accountable without generalizing.
“Religion is expected to be a source of solutions, not to add to societal issues. It’s commendable that these issues are brought to public attention, but that’s not sufficient. The EFCC should be permitted to perform its duties without interference, allowing religious organizations to be held accountable.
“We must avoid blanket judgments of all religious groups and instead focus on actions that promote national unity and progress. All citizens should have the freedom to pursue a good life.
“No reasonable religious person, whether Christian or Muslim, would support terrorism. Yet, the depth of our problems is revealed when identities are weaponized, leading to societal collapse. Those responsible must be held accountable.,” he stated.
On the potential Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) strike, the Primate advocated for dialogue over conflict and suggested governmental measures to meet national requirements, potentially including a cabinet reshuffle.
While highlighting the injustice of silencing public expression, he said, “Nigeria is a free country, and people should have the right to express themselves. I hope that the government will implement policies that address the nation’s needs, even if it requires a cabinet reshuffle. The people are hungry, and a hungry man is an angry man. It’s unjust to silence their expressions.
“The government and the NLC leaders should pursue negotiation instead of confrontation. The release of those arrested during protests would serve to calm public anger, as selective justice is detrimental.
“Our nation’s problem is not with its ordinary citizens, who ask only for food security and basic infrastructure. Nigerians are not lazy; they are hardworking and deserve the opportunity to provide for their families.”
The Primate also dismissed the idea of moving the capital from Abuja to Lagos, instead advocating for the development of new cities across the six geopolitical zones to reduce congestion and promote balanced development.
Drawing on China’s strategy of constructing new cities, he said, “Abuja was chosen as the Federal Capital Territory for valid reasons, and we must ensure justice for its indigenous people to prevent further agitation. Lagos is already overburdened, and building new cities, like China’s approach, could be a solution for Nigeria’s growing population and economic needs.
“It’s crucial that we work together to harness Nigeria’s human and material resources for the benefit of all. If we can learn from the example of China, which is actively building new cities and industrial centers to accommodate its development, why can’t we do the same?
“With God’s blessings, we have what it takes to establish new satellite cities across the six geopolitical zones. If we could construct one additional city in the North and another in the South, we would alleviate the congestion in both Abuja and Lagos, giving rise to growth and equal opportunities for everyone who settles there.
“These new cities would also aid in our national development. With Nigeria projected to be one of the most populous nations by 2050, we must have robust plans to address the deficits in infrastructure, housing, and employment.”
He emphasized the importance of strategic, long-term planning for Nigeria’s future sustainability and growth.
“Investing in the creation of new urban areas is not just about expansion; it’s about strategic development that can provide a sustainable future for the growing population. It’s about creating a legacy of balanced, equitable growth that embraces all regions and communities.
“In essence, we must commit to long-term, strategic planning that places the wellbeing of all Nigerians at the forefront. By doing so, we can ensure that Nigeria not only meets the challenges of today but also builds a foundation strong enough to support the generations of tomorrow.
“The path ahead is not easy, and it will require sacrifice, unity, and unwavering commitment from all sectors of society—government officials, religious leaders, and citizens. Together, we can forge a path toward a prosperous and equitable Nigeria,” the Primate added.
Archbishop Ndukuba encouraged Nigerians to invest in agriculture and urged the political elite to ensure equitable distribution of national wealth.
He also highlighted the importance of the rule of law in promoting national virtues of faith, love, and progress.
“Nigeria may struggle with these issues in the future, particularly when ‘sacred cows’ exist—people who believe they own the nation and can operate above the law, be they politicians, community leaders, traditional rulers, or religious figures. I am convinced that adherence to the rule of law is essential to safeguard society,” he concluded.
Oborevwori Bags Silverbird Governor Of The Year 2023
Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori has won the Silverbird Group Governor of the Year 2023 in recognition of his sterling accomplishments in the state.
Presenting the award to Oborevwori, on Sunday night in Lagos, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, congratulated Governor Sheriff Oborevwori for his administration’s achievements within nine months.
Receiving the award, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori thanked Silverbird Group for the honour and dedicated the award to all Deltans.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Sir Monday Onyeme, said: “We are very grateful to Senator Ben Murray Bruce and the entire management of Silverbird Group for this great honour. Little did we know that our modest achievements within the nine months we have been in office have been noticed.
“We came to serve Delta, and we are doing just that. In line with our MORE agenda, faculties have been built and commissioned, road infrastructure and bridges have been commissioned, and a lot more are ongoing. We have ensured we have qualified teachers in our primary schools.
“In less than nine months, the government has hired over 3,000 teaching and non-teaching staff to ensure that our primary schools are running. We want to assure Deltans that all nooks and crannies in the state shall be provided with quality infrastructures.
“We want to thank Deltans for all the cooperation they give us and the peace they provide. Delta is becoming an investment destination for Nigerians and foreigners alike. We will not get tired, and we will continue to do MORE because that is the mandate.
“In the next three or four years, we are going to see that education becomes better, more effective and easily accessible. We want to see a Delta State where peace will reign supreme. Industrialisation will be the order of the day. That is the vision!
“Education is the bedrock of development in any society. The people need to be educated to live a good life and embrace modernity.”
Hunger: FG to begin nationwide distribution of grains soon
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari disclosed this on Monday.
Recall that on Sunday many Nigerians stormed a government warehouse and emptied it of foodstuffs.
“Dear Fellow Nigerians,” he wrote on his official X handle. “In these trying times, I extend my sincere compassion to those affected by the hardships in the country. I understand the gravity of the situation, especially with the unfortunate event of foodstuff warehouse looting.
“Amidst these challenges, I want to assure you that our commitment to your well-being remains resolute. We shall commence the distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains, as approved by Mr. President, across the 36 states of the federation as one of the programs to be rolled out this week.
“We are working hand in hand with NEMA and the DSS to ensure that the grains get to the right people in the right packages and quantities. Furthermore, 58,500 metric tons of milled rice from mega rice millers will also be released into the market for stabilization.”
The minister who hailed the resilience of the Nigerian people, urged them to back President Bola Tinubu’s government in its quest to address the challenges facing the country.
“I acknowledge the strength of the Nigerian people, and it is this resilience that will guide us through these difficult times. Let us stand together to support Mr. President in his strive for a better Nigeria,” Kyari said.
“Our government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to addressing these challenges and working towards a more secure and prosperous future for all.”
The development is part of moves by the government to curb the hardship in the country. Since the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the naira, the cost of living in Nigeria has reached new highs.
There have been protests in several parts of the country as Nigerians sought the government’s attention to address the economic hardship. Several warehouses and food trucks have also been looted in some places.
But the Federal Government is calling for patience, assuring that the reforms by the Tinubu-led administration are set to yield fruit.
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