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Presbyterian Church scores democracy low in Nigeria

THE Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has  expressed disappointment at the little gains of 10 years of democracy in the country, saying Nigerians have witnessed near collapse, rather than development of the nation’s socio-economic infrastructure.

The church noted, with dismay, the abject decay in the nation’s rail, road and water transportation network, electricity and water supply, health-care and agricultural sectors as well as the declining standard of  education. It said: “Unemployment, insecurity of lives and property, poverty, and low capacity utilization in industries have worsened,” adding that the Niger Delta crisis, has been allowed to degenerate to a guerilla warfare dimension.

Noting that credible elections, which are the bedrock of democracy, have eluded the nation as “polls are characterized by violence and willful manipulation of the electoral process,” the church appealed to the political class to recognize the collective interest of the people as the primary purpose of governance and strive to give Nigerians dividends of democracy.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting of its General Assembly Executive Committee (GAEC) at St. Paul’s Parish, Ogbor Hill, Aba, Abia State, the church blamed the government for allowing strike action  in the nation’s  universities in spite of the warning strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities over government’s agreement   with the union.

The church called on  government to respond immediately to the issues raised by the union to avert a prolonged strike which would have devastating effects on the already declining standard of education in the country.

The communiqué, jointly signed by the moderator of the General Assembly, Dr. Ubon Bassey Usung and the principal clerk, The Rev. Ndukwe Nwachukwu Eme, welcomed President Musa Yar’ Adua’s offer of amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta as a prelude to ending the crisis  in the region and paving the way for  amicable resolution.

While the church called on all militant groups to embrace the amnesty offer, it urged the Federal Government to come up with an action plan to address the issue of marginalization and gross neglect of the needs of the people of the area in order to bring to an end the civil unrest in the region.


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