Anglican Church to Nigeria at 58th Independence
Chibok Girls/Leah Shaibu: The Standing Committee wishes to call on the Federal Government never to forget the remaining Chibok girls and Leah Shaibu who are still in Boko Haram captivity. In the interest of democracy, freedom of religion, and national cohesion, sufficient effort should be made to bring their ordeal and that of their parents and families to an end.
Minimum Wage: The Standing Committee wishes to commend Federal Government for its concern for workers, especially with the move to review the Minimum Wage. The Government is hereby urged to quickly do the needful as promised to relieve the workers and reduce poverty level in the land.
2019 General Elections: As 2019 draws closer, we wish to call on our political leaders and all politicians seeking elective positions to remember that power comes only from God. In whatever we do, the peace of the nation must be preserved because in a war situation, everybody will be affected. Nigerians are still yearning for dividends of democracy as promised before. Therefore, new promises should be weighed against the background of available resources to ensure delivery. The Standing Committee wishes to urge Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to work harder to make all the processes and eventual elections as smooth as possible; and to remain an unbiased umpire in this race to determine Nigeria’s destiny. Whatever will disenfranchise any Nigerian should not come from INEC and should be avoided by all. We urge all eligible citizens to get ready to vote in the General Elections. Your vote is your power and your vote will count. We call on the Armed Forces and all other security agencies to conduct the affairs of the 2019 General Elections with the future of Nigeria in mind. Finally, we call on our people, not only to ensure that they vote, but to also strive for elective positions, to be voted for.
Not too Young to Run Bill: The Not too Young to Run Bill was heralded with so much zest. We recognise the step as a good development at a time like this. However, as good as it may be, it is not going to solve problems automatically.
The Nigeria brand of politics has, over the years, not been on ideas and ideals. Rather, it has been driven by personality and money. Ethnic and religious biases have also played roles. With the Not too Young to Run Bill passed, we call on young people not to be discouraged, but to join in the struggle, and look forward to the future with hope.
The Church as the Light of the World: Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Lord of the Church, describes the Church as the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and as a city set on the hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:13 & 14).
As charged by the Lord Jesus Christ, our light is to shine so much that men will see and give glory to our Father in heaven. As people are aspiring for several elective positions come 2019 General Elections, we charge Christians in the race to show the light and represent the Church well in integrity and service to the people. Stealing from individuals, families, nation and churches, among others, is breaking the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
As the salt of the earth, the Church is to preserve the earth from moral corruption. The Church is, therefore, by nature against all forms of vices. Consequently, if the injustice, corruption, oppression, marginalisation, lies, selfishness, greed and dishonesty, among others that are found in the society is allowed within the Church, and practised or promoted by Christians, then the salt would have lost its saltiness and we would be living below expectation. The practice of receiving so much money from public funds for little or nothing and living flamboyant lifestyle at the expense of the poor masses cannot continue, if we must develop as a nation.
(Culled from THE OPENING ADDRESS of His Grace, The Most Rev Nicholas D. Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria to The September 2018 Standing Committee of the Church)
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