By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin â€” THE Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde, yesterday, in Ilorin raised an alarm that Nigeria would continue to be in darkness of poverty, corruption, armed robbery and other vices of underdevelopment as long as
the Peoples Democratic Party rules the country.
The man of God expressed the need for the opposition parties to come out strong and urgently wrestle power from the ruling party before it wrecks incalculable damage on Nigeria.
The Prelate also called on the Federal Government to jail any religious leader who refuses to pay tax saying that the Holy Bible enjoins Christians to pay tax.
â€œI have never defaulted in paying my own; Jesus Christ says people should give to Ceaser things that are Ceaser’s and to God things that are God. Any responsible Minister of God will not hesitate to pay tax as that is what is use to provide social amenities for Nigerians,â€ he said.
The prelate noted that if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rules the country for the next 60 years, as they claimed they will do, then the nation will be in a state of total darkness in the next 60 years.
Makinde was in Ilorin, Kwara State over the weekend on the occasion of 2009 recognition of service and award of merit to deserving Methodists in the Archdiocese of Ilesa, held at Methodist Cathedral of Blessing, Ilorin.
Speaking in an interview with journalists after the service he saidÂ PDP led government will put the nation in to the state of corruption, armed robbery and unemployment if allowedÂ to rule the country for the next sixty years.
â€œWe can not tolerate that but the opposition must be strong, the country is drifting to one party state. Any governments that can address the problem of unemployment, fight corruption, provide electricity must be allowed now but we can not achieved
that unless we put right people in political officesâ€ he stressed.
He expressed concernÂ that the people of Nigeria are not enjoying dividend of democracy because of their failure to vote the right people to the political office saying that â€œAs you lay your bed so you lie on itâ€.
He however said that Nigerians are impatient lots stressing ,Â that Nigerians are worse than the Jews whom he described as been fastidious adding that the country is moving forward.
His words,â€œWe are comparing Nigeria with USA and some European countries that attained independence about 200 years ago. It is not easy, we must be thankful to God the first five years of the countryâ€™s democracy, National Assembly was not as stable
as it is now, it is a learning processâ€ he said.
Dr. Makinde also applauded the Judiciary, especially election Tribunals for up-turning the result of those who he claimed illegally occupied political office,Â noting that with this development,it would be difficult for politicians to rig their way into power again.
Dr.Â Makinde who also described Federal Character as obnoxious because of the way and manner its currently practiced in Nigeria said the principle of federal character denies people who are qualified the opportunity to serve the country saying it encourages mediocrity in the nation.
He said that if at all the principle should be adhered to, care should be taken to make sure that the best of the bunch is picked, stressing that he has never believed in the practice as it breeds inefficiency and throws up people who cannot perform .
According to him, Nigerians are not enjoying the dividends of democracy today because the wrong set of people have been given positions of authority.
Citing an example of the current practice of quota system where students with lower scores from certain parts of the country are allocated some slots in admission to Nigerian universities as opposed to merit, the Prelate called for a revisit of the principle.
While speaking further, the religious leader called for the incorporation ofÂ religious knowledge just like other core courses like Math and EnglishÂ in the school curriculum to stem the tide of decay in the society.
In response to a question on the solution to religious crisis in the northern part of the country, the primate noted that the politicians should be blamed for mixing religion with politics and ethnicity when it suits them, adding that the introduction of â€˜political Shariaâ€™ as against religious Sharia which according to him stands for justice has also worsened the situation.
He tongue-lashed the former governor of Zamfara state, Alhaji Ahmed Yerima now in the National Assembly for the introduction of political Sharia, adding that the blood of those who died in the crises would be upon him.