Presbyterian Church institutes Fund on Chibok girls

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LAGOS—The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has announced that in keeping with the Church’s spirit of Christian charity and in support of  President Goodluck Jonathan’s initiative in setting up a special Fund in aid of victims of Boko Haram insurgency and other social upheavals, the Church has set up a Fund toward the rehabilitation of the Chibok girls when they are eventually rescued.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its biennial General Assembly meeting held in Calabar, Cross River State, the Church felt worried by the experiences the girls were passing through and the psychological trauma that could befall them when freed. The Fund would serve as the Church’s contribution toward rehabilitating the girls and making them to fulfill their divine destinies.

The Church, however, lamented the seeming inability of Government to release the abducted Chibok girls and to ultimately contain the Boko Haram insurgency.

It warned that the issue should not be politicized unduly and that every well-meaning Nigerian should identify with the efforts of the State Security Agencies in fighting the Boko Haram security challenge.

It said that it was particularly disconcerting that despite the numerous inter-faith conferences and dialogues, the level of insurgency, religious intolerance, and recriminations remained on the increase.

The communiqué, jointly signed by the Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church, Most Rev. Prof. Emele Mba Uka and the newly elected Principal Clerk, The Rev. Eseme David William, commended the proactive response of the Federal and State Governments to the dreaded ebola virus disease which spread into Nigeria through a patient, the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer.

The Church stated however, that sustainable measures must be taken to ensure that the disease was fully contained and eradicated.

It urged the Government to ensure that all the entry points into Nigeria must maintain an all-round surveillance so that no new cases of the epidemic could pass through the borders.

The production and supply of experimental drugs for those who are already infected should also be accelerated.
The communiqué noted with regret the protracted industrial action embarked upon by members of the Nigerian Medical Association which has caused great suffering to most Nigerians.

The Church appealed to the Federal Government and the Medical Association to quickly return to the negotiating table with a view to resolving the issues and reducing the pains of the people.

On power supply, the Church noted that despite Government efforts at improving power supply by privatizing the sector, power outages were still the order of the day in almost all parts of the federation. “It is also embarrassing that consumers are paying heavily for services not rendered.

The Government should put in place an effective mechanism to ensure creditable performance by the registered distribution companies. The Federal Government should set a definite timeline when Nigerians and corporate manufacturing consumers will get value for the privatization of the energy sector.

In a statement on the communiqué issued by the Church’s Director of Information & Public Affairs, Rev. Kalu Eme, the Church expressed deep concern on the declining standards of education in the country which had been made more obvious by the poor 2014  SSCE results.

It said that the incessant strikes in the educational sector could have been avoided if Government demonstrated sincerity in the implementation of the memorandum of understanding reached with the stakeholders at all spheres of education.

While not unmindful of the negative role played by some Trade Union officials, the Church felt particularly irked by the seeming insensitivity of Government to the plight of the masses in this regard. It charged the Government to allow education regain its pride of place by ensuring adequate budgetary allocation and implementation.

The Church referred to the successful conduct of the Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States as a pointer to the Government’s commitment to ensuring electoral transparency.

The Church expressed appreciation to Governor Fayemi for being magnanimous in defeat and believed that the success of the elections in Ekiti and Osun states should galvanize the country towards a successful national election in 2015.

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