Church Of Nigeria ends general synod, proposes University Of Technology
The 13th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held from September 21 to 25, 2020 at the Church’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
The Primate of All Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja, the Most Rev’d Henry Ndukuba, who hosted and presided over the Synod, said the Church of Nigeria had mapped out its missions and evangelism vision and is re-strategising to reach more people in rural, urban and international community with the gospel.
Ndukuba also outlined projects and proposals for his tenure, among which was the building of a University of Technology to be sited at Kwaita, Abuja. He said the site, which had been made available already, is currently being fenced. The university, when completed, according to him, will serve the church’s vision of developing manpower and skills for the country, as a part of the vision of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who had not only established the church but also developed the people and the congregation.
He implored Dioceses to harness skills of health professionals in the church and train health professionals in the production of pharmaceuticals as well as set up research laboratories. He added that health, as a proven medical outreach, is a powerful tool and support for missions and evangelism.
The Bishop of Abuja, who also addressed some national issues such as the controversial CAMA Act 2020, said: “It is necessary for us to make a clear statement concerning the controversial new power conferred on the Corporate Affairs Commission by S.839 of the amended CAMA 2020 (the Act) to obtain an order of Court, to suspend the Trustees of any religious, charitable and non for proﬁt association in Nigeria, and appoint an interim manager or managers to manage their affairs. This merits some comment as it directly affects CON (Anglican Communion) as such an association and its 163 Dioceses whose assets are vested in its Trustees for the time being.
“The stipulated conditions for such suspension viz. where the Commission “reasonably believes” that there is or has reasonably believed” that there is or has been misconduct, mismanagement, or a need to protect the trust property, public interest or prevention of fraud, are so plainly subject to abuse.
“Even though the Court Order to suspend Trustees is to be obtained ‘upon the hearing of the petition,’ it ought to have been categorically stated in the Act that the Commission or a minority of members cannot exercise the power unilaterally through an ex parte Court Order.
“We must, therefore, draw attention to and express grievous concern over this serious lapse and the undue weakness of the due process provisions of the Act and call for an immediate review of the relevant provisions of the Act.
“We also call on the Nigerian Judiciary to be vigilant in the adjudication of matters pertaining to the application of sections 839, especially as it affects religious organisations in particular, pending the review of the relevant provisions of the Act, as is urgently being called for.
“We need to have a proactive national Church engagement and response on socio-political issues especially those that affect the Church of God in Nigeria like the CAMA law. We, therefore, constitute the Church of Nigeria Socio-political Interface Team. They will help us articulate our position and response as a Church during public hearings and key socio-political issues. The team shall represent Church of Nigeria on public socio-political issues that are of interest to the Church.
“The Church of Nigeria supports the desire to ensure probity in all incorporated and non-incorporated bodies in Nigeria, including non-proﬁt associations, which include churches, through the implementation of the Act, the relevant provisions of which incidentally are identical to sections of the UK Charities Act 2011. The Church of Nigeria has consistently spoken out about the corruption that has become endemic in our nation and the need to root it out wherever it rears its cancerous head.”
The General Synod of the Church of Nigeria is the legislative and highest ruling body of the Church and holds once in three years, with all the Bishops and delegated clergy and laity from all the Anglican dioceses in Nigeria as members.
Other features of the event include, the election/appointment of new church officials, the consecration of new Bishops, presentation of new Archbishop, and amendment of the church’s constitution, among others. The Synod, which was the first to be presided over by the new Primate, launched the Church to a new decade, tagged, Decade of Reign of God.