–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Michael J. EKOKORUWE:
THE Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, Rt. Revd. John U. Aruakpor has advocated for the restructuring of Nigeria to reflect true federalism where the states will be in control of their resources to remit thirty percent of their income to the federal government, and reiterated the church support to the Delta State Governor, Dr.Ifeanyi Okowa to finish strong.
Aruakpor made the call while delivering the Bishop Charge on the theme “Understanding the Times, Signs and Seasons Speak”, during the 1st Session of the 8th Synod held at the weekend, at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Owhelogbo, Isoko North local government area of Delta State. He noted that it is disheartening to contribute to the coffers of a country that does not recognize contributors credible enough to hold sensitive positions.
The Bishop while speaking on the state of the nation, condemned the banes of insecurity, nepotist tendencies of the current regime, issues of open grazing/threat by killer herdsmen, bill to control Nigeria Waterways and their banks, the borrowing trend of the Federal Government, ugly trend of ‘yahoo yahoo’ and the general hardship in the land, adding that it shows the federal government is insensitive to the plight of the affected people, especially the Niger Delta and urged representatives from the south not to betray the people they are represents.
Bishop Aruakpor called on the Federal government to reconsider the future of the common man and review the policies that have brought the untold hardship to the people.
He assured that the church stands out as a credible partner in the day to day running of the affairs of the society, and called on the state government to increase it’s partnership with the church in the area of education, health, agriculture and human capital development; adding that “partnering and committing responsibilities to the church will no doubt yield credible result”.
Earlier, the Guest Lecturer at the Synod, High Chief Eta Enahoro, the Iyasere of Oyede Kingdom, while delivering the lecture titled “Nigeria Can Be Fixed and Developed, How? ” asserted that Nigeria is replete with situations of general despondence in relation to socio-economic, technological and political developments, occasioned by ineffective deployment of resources, both human and material, to steer itself out of the crises of slow growth and economic problems.
The Guest Lecturer who described the Nigerian true story as “spectacularly morbid if not sordid when diagnosed”, stated that the panacea would be through collective resolve for unfettered access to political participation, political sanity with well intended motivations and transmission of election results for development to be entrenched.
The business mogul who traced the bane of development to corruption at all spheres of the economy, advocated death penalty for corrupt officials as the only fear of death penalty that will stop corruption.
He noted that the challenges could not be solved not until every person takes responsibility beyond relying on the government alone, adding that “as wholesome and as odorous our situation presents itself, “let me sincerely say with the courage of Caleb and Joshua that there is hope”.
On how Nigeria and Isoko nation as an integral part of Nigeria can escape from the current underdevelopment problems, Enahoro identified the need for transformational leaders with development oriented leadership; free, fair and credible elections that will entrench democracy and not plutocracy that will sanitize the political arena with well-intended reforms and offer good governance as well as fight against corruption as ‘leaders over the years have been fantastically corrupt’.
Eta averred that the nation should embrace inclusive and shared growth as the refusal of political leaders to share the benefits of growth with the underclass has been a problem in the nation.
He also advocated for an urgent revolution of the education and healthy sector for scientific and technological breakthrough that will result from rigorous research efforts while providing conducive atmosphere and climates for productive activities that will enable citizens exploit their environment and resources for their material existence, livelihoods and income.
He stated that “we may have been socially dismembered, politically frustrated, economically shattered, religiously loosing faith and psychologically depressed, but a reorientation of attitudes and reenactment of our cherished values of hard work and entrepreneurship laced with affective commitment to nation building is a recipe for the new Nigeria that is envisioned.
For his part, the chairman of the Bishops Charge at the Synod and the President-General of Isoko Development Union (IDU), Professor Chris Akpotu, noted that the challenges of Nigeria have been discussed in different platforms and fora, and there seemed to be no headway and asserted that “Nigeria is demonically afflicted”.
Professor Akpotu noted that the right platform for deliverance is the church, noting that if the church takes the central stage, there will be hope in the future.
The IDU President further stated that the right approach to the underdevelopment challenges is attitudinal change and a knowledge driven economy which could in turn be driven by research.
Highlights of the Ceremony was the presentation of plaques to selected individuals both living and dead who have contributed to the propagation of the gospel in the area.
Present at the Bishop Charge was Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by his Special Adviser on Religious Matters, Senior Apostle Sylvanus Okorete, Most Revd Markus Ibrahim, who was the Guest Preacher, Chief Iduh Amadhe, former IDU President General, former SSG, Sir Simeon Efenudu and Comrade Ovuzorie Macaulay.
Others are Bishops from the Bendel Ecclesiastical Province led by the Archbishop Most Revd. Cyril Udutemu and Most Revd. Victor Muoghere, retired Bishop of the Ughelli Diocese among others.
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