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Synod urges Christians to love, care for others

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Most Rev. Daniel Yisa

The first Session of the 11th Synod of the Diocese of Minna, presided over by Bishop of Minna and Archbishop of Lokoja, His Grace, the Most Rev. Daniel Yisa, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Minna with the theme: “Who is my Neighbour? Mission Inclusive” ended with a call on Christians to seek and attend to the welfare and need of others, especially at the perilous time.

The three-day event, which was rounded off with a thanksgiving service on May 9, 2021, featured the Bishop’s charge and deliberations on the theme of the Synod, as well as reports from the districts and state of the nation.

In his address, the Diocesan Bishop called on Christians not to neglect their neighbours and should owe nobody anything except love.

In a communique, the Synod reminded Christians that as Good Samaritans, they should not allow race or ethno-religious barriers to hinder them from helping the less privileged in the society.

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Observing the frustration of Nigerians and the growing deep-rooted inter-ethnic nationality hatred threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria, the Synod reiterates that one collective action that could bring instant and lasting peace and prosperity, is love, he, therefore, called on Nigerians to love their neighbours as themselves.

On state of the nation, the Synod is pained that after Boko Haram insurgents have been technically defeated, neutralised, decimated militarily and kinetically several times, “we are still witnessing mayhems being unleashed daily on virtually every community in the country by the combined forces of murderous herdsmen, kidnappers, ISIS/ISWAP and factions of Boko Haram.

The Synod, while commending Federal Government’s efforts at investigating suspected funders of insurgency in the country, appealed to government to prosecute any one found complicit.

It also reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the responsibility of restoring peace in the country rests squarely on his shoulders. It frowned on the fact that no President should appeal to kidnappers to release their captives, when they can be smoked out of their hiding places. They said as the Church is praying, the government must also be seen to be working.

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The Synod noted that the armed forces personnel have been overstretched, especially at the hotspots in the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and therefore, called for massive recruitment of able-bodied men and women into the force.

The Synod also decried the inhuman conditions going on in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) centres, and wondered whether Nigeria is not a subscribing member of such international bodies as UNICEF, which is responsible for providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for displaced people. It called on government and civil organisations to redouble efforts at easing the discomforts at IDP centres.

The Synod believes that, “we can live together in one country where peace and justice reign. It is the erosion of these vital ingredients that are foundational to our existence that are making the federating units to call for restructuring and in extreme case, secession. The President’s mantra, “I am for nobody, I am for everybody” is yet to be seen demonstrated in reality.

“The Synod, therefore, calls on all non-state actors bearing arms and attacking police stations and correctional homes to cease fire and the National Assembly to expedite actions on constitutional reforms that will address all the nagging problems leading the country to the brink of another civil war.”

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