‘Why Nigerians deserve inclusive governance’
At the official opening of the February 2021 Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, held at the Archbishop C. J. Patterson’s Hall, All Saints’ Cathedral, Onitsha, Anambra State, Ndukuba explained that the lives of Nigerians, irrespective of religion, tribe or occupation, matter to God. He said equality of citizens is an issue government must address, and wants a new and comprehensive national dialogue, a restructuring of the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies.
He urged the current administration to declare a state of emergency in the area of security for six months and advocated a stringent gun control policy in Nigeria.
On the standing committee, themed: “Costly commitment, the imperative in following Jesus Christ”, the Primate stressed that God requires a costly commitment from anyone who desires to follow Jesus.
Observing that this is a generation where people are prone to go for what benefits them, instead of making a sacrifice, Ndukuba explained that Jesus Christ is seeking those who are sold out to Him and are willing to suffer shame, attacks, and even death. In his view, the greatest hindrance to costly commitment is self, which could only be conquered with the Holy Spirit’s help.
He defined costly commitment as “intentional, sacrificial, willingness to give up anything that will stand in our way of following Jesus Christ.” He described a committed person as one who is not moved by people’s opinions or challenges; adding that God wants to raise a people for His Kingdom.
Ndukuba reiterated that Jesus is calling all out of the world’s mammon, power and position, to follow Him sacrificially and be His replica on earth. He emphasised that the desire to follow Jesus must be from the heart.
Earlier, Archbishop of the Province of the Niger, Most Rev Alexander Ibezim, described the theme as appropriate for this period and that following Christ is paramount if one must fulfil one’s divine mandate.
In his welcome address, Bishop of the host Diocese, Rt. Rev Owen Nwokolo, lamented that some Christians have devoted themselves to teachings of demons and employed antics to get what they want. “These Christians seek discipleship without cost and Christianity without the cross. But there is no Christianity without sacrifice,” he said.
Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, who represented the governor, Willie Obiano, emphasised the need to observe safety protocols, especially during this period of a pandemic. He called on church leaders to insist on the use of facemasks and hand sanitisers in their dioceses because every life is precious. He urged them to do what is right in their various leadership positions because that is what people would remember when their tenure ends.
The highlights of the Standing Committee, which began on February 8, 2021, include commissioning of some newly completed projects at All Saints Cathedral compound; the Diocesan Secretariat, Secretariat/Staff Quarters of Superannuation Fund of the Niger Anglican Churches and four internal roads. The roads were the Diocesan Secretariat-Cathedral road named Archbishop Henry Ndukuba Drive; Cathedral main entrance road named after Bishop Alphonsus Onyeabor; Cathedral Awka road entrance called Archbishop J.A. Onyemelukwe Drive, who was the Bishop that completed All Saints Cathedral, and the Cathedral – Bishop’s Court road named Engr. Sir Emeka Okwuosa’s Drive, who constructed the road.
Ndukuba thanked Bishop Nwokolo for his diligence and strong commitment to discharging his episcopal duty. According to him, “What is going on in Niger Diocese is what every evangelical and mission diocese should emulate and do to help the church of Nigeria move forward.”
The next Standing Committee will hold in September in Lagos.
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