Bishop urges Buhari to speak on restructuring, petroleum minister
Worried by President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to heed calls for restructuring, Anglican Bishop of Egbu Diocese, Imo State, Geoffrey Okorafor, has urged the President to come out and address the issue.
He also asked Buhari to either disclose to Nigerians the substantive Minister of Petroleum or appoint one, if there is none.Okorafor stated this at the weekend in his 100-page Presidential Charge, during the first session of the 9th synod of the diocese themed ‘David – A Man After God’s Heart’ at the Anglican Church of Pentecost, New Owerri, Imo State.
He lamented the soaring prices of petroleum products and the excruciating impact on Nigerians.
The vocal cleric also urged the President to listen to the voice of the citizens and overhaul the country’s security architecture, looking into the call by many to change the security chiefs.
At the event attended by the immediate past archbishop of the church in the state, Caleb Maduoma; former Chief Judge of Imo, Justice Ben Njemanze (rtd.), among others, he said: “Buhari is about completing the second year of his second tenure. He has flatly refused to heed to calls by eminent Nigerians to restructure the system. We call on him again to consider restructuring. One believes that the conference that made that recommendation was peopled by prominent Nigerians across all states, whom we believe were not fools.
“We also call on the President to urgently appoint a Minister of Petroleum. If he is the Minister of Petroleum, he should boldly and openly inform Nigerians. He has no reason to withhold the office of petroleum minister, as the past years of placing the office on hold yielded no fruit.”
On the security architecture, Okorafor said: “A lot of criticism has emanated as to his continued refusal to overhaul the security architecture of the country. Service chiefs are now at their wits’ end, and need to be replaced. Mr. President, be reminded that the people elected you and you swore to uphold the principles of democracy guided by the constitution of Nigeria. Conscience should play a very important role in our system. Let your conscience play its role in your leadership style in Nigeria.”
The Anglican cleric believed that it would take political will to tackle corruption in the country.
“The problem with us as a nation is not that corruption cannot be fought head-long; rather the logistics to fight corruption have not been put in place. The Federal Government’s school feeding programme had a fraud of more than N1.6 billion found in private accounts.”
This, to us, has gone beyond corruption; it is wicked as it is ungodly, inhuman and unchristian,” he said.He regretted that cases of non-payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity abound in the administration of Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo, appealing to the governor to apply a down-to-earth approach to the problem confronting him for more than seven months now.