From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The Labour Party (LP) Presidential candidate, Peter Obi has asked the Church in Nigeria to show more commitment in the Nigeria project than praying alone.
He said that though prayer is necessary and important the church should see the 2023 general election as one it should back its prayers with action for the ultimate goal to be achieved.
Obi who spoke in Enugu at the 31st General Assembly/93rd Anniversary Celebrations of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) commended the church for upholding the country with prayers and reminded it that faith without work is dead.
The Labour presidential candidate whose entrance into the St. Andrew’s Basilica, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Trans Ekulu, Enugu venue of the event was electrifying as he was given a hero welcome, said the church has the history of bringing desired change to nations of the world.
He said, “Mine is to thank the church for what you people are doing, thank you for your togetherness and what you’re bringing to our country Nigeria.
“When we talk about poverty in Nigeria, you bear the greatest burden out of it, everyone wakes up in the morning and will see the bishop, see the priest, see everybody, some of them cannot see us because we have police to prevent them. But they will go to the church and the church will not stop anybody from coming, the church will be open and you listen to all the problems.
“No country in the world can on their own be satisfied that out of 200 million people they have about one hundred and thirty something million poor and that country will still exist, only in Nigeria. Almost 60 per cent of our population is poor and we are still surviving.
“My humble request is that prayers, prayers, there should be action, because we can’t continue this way. What brought us here is bad leadership, is not because we don’t have enough money but what we have has been stolen by people and we must stop it.
“For me is not about religion, is not about education, educational qualification is not a measure of integrity. We are looking for people who have conscience, who have empathy, who will manage the resources of this country well, that is all we are looking for and we can find it among us.
“Please for the sake of the children of this country, I know you’ll say you are not involve in politics and I don’t want you to be involved but next year’s election remember without the church Marcus wouldn’t have led Philippines. So many changes that happened all over the world was the church that brought them, so lets pray and take action.”
Obi who insisted that the vehicle called Nigeria requires a new driver, that is competent, qualified and committed to doing the right thing, urged the church lead the campaign.
“The Christian community should work hard and ensure that next year’s election is based on character and trust, competency, capacity and commitment. It should not be by the same perimeters we used in the past when we were talking about tribe, religion and such things. Is not about religion, no religion buys bread cheaper, no tribe buys bread cheaper, I have not seen roads that were tarred for Christians or the one tarred for Moslems, so it is now time for us to do the right things.”
The church leaders who spoke including the CCN President, Most Rev. Benebo Fubara-Manuel, agreed with Obi that the church must get involved to rescue Nigeria.
Also present at the event is the Presidential candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo.