The Methodist Church Nigeria, MCN has advised the Federal Government to strictly implement its stand on the fight against corruption no matter who is involved.
While commending the Federal Government for driving the anti corruption crusade in the velocity it demanded, in his address during the 25th Synod of the MCN diocese of Uzuakoli, Dodds Methodist cathedral, Abia State, the Prelate Dr. Samuel Kanu Uche regretted that the crusade was not all inclusive and maintained that it was lopsided.
He maintained that the church was strongly behind the anti corruption crusade; and added that, “we know and it is common knowledge that people who migrate from one party to the other are the same people, but it beats our imagination that when you are the vilest offender in one party and cross over to a certain party, you become a saint overnight.
“This should not have been so. Whoever is corrupt should be seen to be corrupt regardless of the party he or she belongs to. Our fight against corruption should be a holistic and a genuine one”.
The prelate observed that most of government functionaries refrain from obeying court orders, which according to him, such actions would portray Nigeria as practicing jungle justice and promoting the survival of the fittest.
His words, “This to a large extent is unacceptable and contrary to the norms of any civilized society. The world has become a global village and our country would be deceiving herself if she feels that she can be an island”.
Uche said although three arms of government exist in Nigeria, “it was observed that our government practices Militocracy most recently, to the extent of undue interference and silencing the legislative and judiciary arms. This is unfortunate and must be reverted as it portrays great danger to our polity.
The MCN Prelate admitted that things are not going smoothly for churches in Nigeria, as the Church is presently suffering from harassment and intimidation, and call on all (churches) to come together “in times like this, to practice the golden rule of loving our neighbour as one’s self”.
“Being a top member and leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria and one of the foremost leaders of the Christian Council of Nigeria, I can say that we Christians have exhibited the highest level of decorum by turning the other cheek (as admonished in the holy scripture), when provoked.
“However, I regret to note that within the general body of Christ, our Church denominations have collectively failed in carrying out our primary assignment as a praying community, due to the level of disunity and polarized within us, whereby some churches claim to be sanctimonious than the other.
“Unfortunately, this attitude has not encouraged and promoted good rapport, unity of purpose, integration and cohesion among us. At this crucial time in our national life, I appealed to the Churches in Nigeria to be united”, he pleaded.
Addressing the state of the nation also in his speech, the diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Okpara Chiemeka said, “the Nigerian nation, the pride of Africa, endowed with a quantum of mineral deposit that could enable her to be one of the foremost countries of the world in terms of development, by legal framework is a misnomer and in terms of infrastructure is a charade.
“No one dare talk about security because all we hear in the news suggest that Nigeria is a failed state and we need to declare a state of emergency on her.
“What is it that we have gotten right? Is it our education system or the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Water Board is moribund, our roads are death trap. Bandits, Armed Robbers, kidnappers, terror organization are all on rampage targeting both the armed forces and the civilians. No one is safe.
“Nothing is static. Workers are not paid wages, many states are owing salaries. Retirees are left to die without their pension. Inflation is now a norm. When the price of any commodity rises, it doesn’t come down again. A country with three refineries cannot refine fuel. We send our crude oil to other countries who are able to manage their own refineries and we import the product we generate from her.
“Our borders are porous and so, all manners of arms and illegal goods flood our country. The rich is getting richer, by the day and the poor poorer. Politicians are more interested in security of their families and position. The masses are left to the mercy of whatever situation they face or grapple with.
“When shall Nigeria truly be independent? I am yet to understand why we are a sovereign nation. How do we say one is independent when he cannot take care of himself. The worst is that the authorities do not want to be criticized. If you talk about the ills of society, you become marked for elimination. Instead of eliminating our problems, they eliminate those who highlight our problems”.
Bishop Chiemeka who called on Nigeria leaders at all levels to be more passionate about leadership and governance, however commended the Federal Government for accenting to the minimum wage bill of N30,000.
He said, “this will greatly improve the wellbeing of the lower cadre of workers if government takes step further to curb inflation, and reduce the current pump price of fuel”.
Chiemeka argued that, “if nothing is done to reduce the cost of transportation, the minimum wage will amount to nothing”.
Also speaking on the state of the nation, the Lay President, Elder Chijioke Sunday Uchechi said, “the nation is not in good health generally. The nation is characterized by corruption, insurgency and instability, nonpayment of salaries to the workers, robbery and political mayhem.
He however expressed hope that God will specially intervene and restore Nigeria to its glory.
Interacting with newsmen respectively on the theme of the synod “Obedience To God, Better Than Sacrifice”, the Synod Secretary, Very Rev. Emmanuel Madu and the church Public Relations Officer/ Circuit Steward Comrade Azubuike Iroegbu pointed out that obedience is the total submission to the will of God and the willingness to abide by what the church stand for.