June 3, 2024

Nigeria slowly sliding into total collapse — Anglican Bishop


By Chidi Nkwopara

OWERRI — Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Oru, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Chukwunenye has raised the alarm that “Nigeria is gradually sliding into a total collapse and the government appears to have lost every idea on how to stop the slide.”

The alarm was part of the 77-page presidential address he delivered, weekend, during the first session of the sixth synod of the diocese, held at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Nempi, Oru West local council area of Imo State.

His words: “The nation, Nigeria, is gradually sliding into a total collapse. The present government seems to have lost every idea on how to stop this downward slide and revamp the economy.

“Everything now looks like trial and error, or if you like, a case of try your luck. All the policies that are being churned out by the policymakers seem to be aimed at harming the people more.

“They all smear wickedness in content and outlook. A very good example is the increase in the electricity tariff to whatever percentage, they have pushed down our throats.

“From our experience in this part of the country, it is purely an increase in the darkness tariff. We have been here for the past 16 years as a diocese but in all these years, we have never enjoyed electricity for 20 minutes.

“All these times, we have only run on diesel and fuel. Now, the diocese has been sent a bill based on the increased tariff.

“The distribution company is insisting that the diocese must pay with or without supplying electricity or face the unsavoury consequence of disconnection.

“The question I have not ceased to ask the distribution company and government, which they have not answered is: Is it fair to the citizens to pay for darkness instead of light?

“I think that the proper thing for this government and its distribution and generating companies should have done first is to ensure a steady supply of electricity before the increase in tariff. What they have done now is simply anti-people.

“Because the leaders of this country called Nigeria have never cared for the masses, they will always put the cart before the horse.

“If they have achieved what Geometrics and Professor Barth Nnaji achieved in Aba, and increased the tariff, no sane person will ever complain, rather Nigerians will gladly pay any amount they are asked to pay.

“Let this government listen to the cries of Nigerians and always seek to do the right things for the benefit of the people. We passionately and graciously plead with this government not to kill this nation with taxes.

“As it is said, no nation on earth grows its economy through taxation. Economies are grown through production. This is where the government must focus its policies and energy production.

“A word is enough for the wise; a good and caring government. The government should realize that it is in power for the good and protection of the lives and properties of the citizens.”

Addressing the seeming tension and insecurity in the South East geo-political zone, the bishop said: “We thank some of our brothers for seeing reasons to give up on their anger.

“No matter how genuine and justified their anger is, I believe it is now time for them to calm down completely. This will enable us to rebuild the land and the economy that is almost in ruins.”