*Condemns alleged padding of budget
*To Establishes College of Medical Science in Ekiti
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-Seventh Day Adventist Church has said the conduct of elections on Saturdays has been impeding and depriving many of its followers from participating in electoral process, because the church recognized Saturday as its Sabbath day.
The Church appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission to consider its request that it should stop conducting elections on Saturday, to enable its members exercise its franchise.
The President of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Western Nigeria Union, Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi, said these in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday during a press conference heralding its five-day 2016 Men’s Organisation National Convention commencing today in Ekiti State.
On the corruption that has permeated and debased every facet of the country, including the house of God, Owolabi said it quite appreciate the fact that the men of God has a crucial role to play in fighting the scourge, reiterating that the government must embrace holistic approach to be able to win the war.
“The government must engage every institution to fight the scourge. The family that raised the child must be involved, because how can a child carried in corrupt womb and raised in a corrupt family grows up to be a good child? So , family values must change for Nigeria to make a headway in this regard.
“Then, the education institution, community , religious other institutions must be involved. It has to be holistic approach, but relying on religious institution alone may not be proper”, he warned.
Commenting on the verbal war between the speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Yakubu Dogara and Hon Abdulmumin Jubrin over alleged padding of the 2016 budget, the Seventh-Day Adventist President averred that the unwholesome conduct had been existence for long, saying the time has come for the country to collectively reject such sordid practice.
Expressing displeasure at how his members were being disenfranchised during every successive election in the country, because of their religious beliefs, the Cleric said “We are not feeling comfortable because we are being disenfranchised. We have written many letters to INEC on the need to shift elections from Saturday and I know that it will accede to the request one day.
“We have seen a situation whereby a gubernatorial election was conducted in the country on Tuesday and I think the country recorded
the highest turnout in history, so we are begging the INEC to put the interest of our people at heart”.
The President appealed to Nigerians not to be disillusioned by the shame the controversy the issue of alleged padding has brought to Nigeria.
“We know we are facing so many challenges, but I am optimistic that there is a great future awaiting this country”.
The Cleric, however, assured that the Church will continue to play complementary role to whoever emerges as the leader of the nation,
despite that its members were being largely insulated from elections.
Owolabi urged every government to study every church operating in the country and examine critically its modus operandi and cardinal focus before embarking on the proposed imposition of tax on religious institutions.
“Government must not see churches and mosques as money making ventures. Let them examine the churches and mosques very well and know those that are established for profit. Churches should not be places where you display opulence, but places for purification, transparency and accountability . They should help in waging war against corruption.
“As far as Adventist Church is concerned, we are not established for money making. Some of the educational and health institutions attested to the fact that we are out to give joy to the people and contribute to the development of any community we find ourselves and these we have been doing”, he said.
Owolabi also disclosed that the Church has finalised arrangement to established College of Medical Sciences in Otun-Ekiti, in the Northern part of Ekiti State.