May 15, 2023

Hardship: Anglican Archbishop, Presidency trade words


•He has inflicted hardship on Nigerians —Anglican Prelate •He’s parroting PDP, not saying anything new —Presidency

By Vincent Ujumadu & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

Awka—THE Presidency yesterday took on the Archbishop,Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, Most Reverend Alexander Ibezim, who accused the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari of inflicting so much hardship on Nigerians since his assumption of office in 2015.

The Presidency said the Archbishop’s opinion is not new.
Delivering his presidential address at the 1st Session of the 13th Synod of the Awka Diocese of the Anglican Church, held at St Peter’s Church, Agulu in Anaocha local government area of Anambra State, Ibezim described Buhari’s regime as very challenging to Nigerians.
According to Ibezim, the regime was marked with killings, kidnappings, lootings, and inflation, adding that the government also failed to resolve the numerous agitations across the country.
He observed that the president also failed to address the issue of unemployment he promised upon assumption of office.
The Archbishop, who is also the Bishop of Awka Diocese said: “Nigeria as a nation is blessed by God with human and material resources which ought to be utilized for the good of the people, but unfortunately, the resources that are meant for the benefit of all have been hijacked by few in authority.
“These eight years have been very challenging. The administration was marked by incessant killings, kidnappings, unresolved agitations, looting, inflation, an increased rate of unemployment and hardship, lopsided appointments, and fuel scarcity.
“The people are yet to breathe the air of democracy. Our politicians show little or no interest in the people they are supposed to be representing. The people are tired and they are yearning for a new Nigeria.”
He, however, urged Nigerians to keep their hope alive, assuring that a new Nigeria where justice, fairness, equity, peace, and progress would reign, would emerge at the end.
He commended Nigerians for changing the campaign and voting narratives of the country in the 2023 polls despite the excruciating economic hardship.
Ibezim faulted the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the February 25 presidential election, adding that the electoral umpire dashed the hope of millions of Nigerians.
The Anglican prelate advised the incoming government to place the interest of the people above ethnicity, arguing that a progressive country would thrive only on fairness and justice.
While commending the government for the introduction of new naira notes, he criticized the authorities for subjecting the people to intense hardship through the poor circulation of the new notes, urging the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure adequate circulation of the new naira notes before the 31st December deadline to avoid subjecting the people to another phase of suffering.

He’s not saying
anything new
Responding to the allegation, the Presidency said there was nothing new in the allegation, as the Bishop was only repeating what the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said during the campaign.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said, “No he is not saying anything new. PDP had said it before, there is nothing new he is saying. That’s the official position of PDP. He is just repeating what PDP said during the campaign, there is nothing new.”