By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Luminous Jannanike
ABUJA—Primate of Anglican Church of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, and the Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Rev Samuel Kalu Uche, yesterday, tasked the Federal Government to address the hunger in the land and give hope to the nation’s youths.
While in his presidential address to the Diocese of Abuja Synod held at the Basilica of Grace, Gudu, Okoh asked the government to act fast and arrest the starvation in the land, Rev Uche in his message at the 2018 Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service at National Christian Centre, Abuja, which was attended by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said many youths of the country were deprived and needed succour.
Primate Okoh said apart from the languishing starvation among the workforce, the pensioners, who were suffering, needed to be remembered too.
He commended the Federal Government for the steps it took in responding to the cries of workers over their meagre wages, saying: “The economic realities of the present day makes this step an imperative.”
He also said the widespread unemployment in the country should be tackled as a matter of priority.
Okoh said: “There is hunger in the land and the Federal Government should make haste to salvage the deplorable situation.
“Government should expedite action in this direction so that our young people can make meaningful contribution to the society and find fulfillment in their father-land.’’
He called on every Nigerian to be prepared for the 2019 general election by ensuring that each eligible voter was duly registered.
He said: “No amount of inconveniences you may face in the course of registering and obtaining your Permanent Voter’s Card, PVC, can be comparable to sitting on the fence.
“We charge you all to look critically at the conditions in the country before presenting yourselves.
“It will be a moral evil for any candidate to gain the confidence of the people, then after being elected into power, instead of improving the lots of the country, to turn round and start to blame past governments. Nigerians are tired of retrogression and stagnancy. We need to move forward.”
Christians won’t vote wicked, religious bigots, tribalists—Methodist
In his message, Rev Uche said he would mobilise the Christian community to vote against wicked, religious bigots and tribalistic leaders in 2019 general elections,
While expressing disappointments at those leading Nigeria, Rev Uche said no religion or holy book encourages war and killing of innocent souls.
He warned the government against clamping down the opposition and also advised the opposition against careless statements that would heat up the polity.
He also told the Vice President and the speaker to find a way to revisit the 2014 National Conference Report, stressing that there was the need to discuss how Nigerians of different ethnic nationalities could live together.
The Methodist Prelate, who boasted that he had about two million members of his church of voting age, said at present, there was no security in the country, adding that the leaders have failed to create enabling environment for democracy to thrive.
He said: “A leader must know how to lead in a pluralistic society, you must have all the attributes to be able to live and mingle with people.
“Yes. We need to confess our sins, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, He will forgive us our sins and deliver us from all unrighteousness.
“As we celebrate democracy day after tomorrow, as we remember our children today. I want to advise that we should avoid do-or-die politics. There should be no fear in politics. Let people be allowed to vote and let their votes count.
Nigeria on a journey—Osinbajo
In his remarks, Vice President Osinbajo likened Nigerians to the children of Israel who murmured against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt without knowing that there were better days ahead.
While making reference to the book of Exodus Chapter 14, from verse 10-15, the Vice President said when God puts somebody to a journey, he does not tell the person the challenges ahead.
He said the country was on a journey from the past and that there were bound to be turbulent occasions, adding: “Tell the people of Nigeria to go forward. I say to you, let us go forward, we shall not go back. God shall fight for us and we shall hold our peace. God has said he shall build a new nation. We are already heading steadily and surely.”
Also speaking, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said religious leaders had a role to play in government, urging them to pray for those in government.