By Sunday Ani, Lagos
Primate of the African Church, His Eminence, Julius Olayinka Osayande Abbe, has blamed current tensions in country on an over concentration of power at the federal level, calling for the devolution of federal powers in order to ensure equity, justice and fairness.
The Christian cleric called on Nigerians and the Church to be fervent in prayer as the only way to guarantee peace in Nigeria.
Abbe made the call at a visit to the African Church, Bethel Cathedral, in Ikorodu, Lagos.
He charged the people to be more devoted to God, to love one another and do the things that would promote peace and the wellbeing of fellow citizens.
The Primate said that the Nigeria’s political leaders have failed to provide direction due to selfishness.
‘When you have leaders who cannot be trusted, leaders who do things without due process and leaders who do not have the interest of the citizens at heart, you expect what you have in the nation at the moment,’ he stated.
‘So, the leadership of this country has, in many ways, failed the citizenry. We trusted them with our votes. We entrusted them with power to lead us and organise our nation in such a way that it would benefit us; but, unfortunately, most of them are more interested in their own wellbeing than the citizens they were elected to provide for.’
He noted that Nigeria is blessed with enormous natural and human resources but that the country’s leaders have failed to manage these resources effectively.
At his visit, Primate Abbe commended the Diocesan Bishop, Right Reverend Hezekiah Adetoro, for providing exemplary leadership that is worthy of emulation.
The visit was in commemoration of the celebration of his one year in office as the church’s primate.
The bishop of the missionary diocese, Reverend Adetoro, in a chat with newsmen, described the visit as special since it was meant to commemorate the Primate’s first year in office. He also urged members of the church to work together to further propagate the gospel of Christ Jesus.
‘Let us live in peace and make sure that we propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we came on board, we met nothing on the ground. Our intention is to have a mission’s court, and secondly, create more archdeaconries.
‘We also want to plant more churches because presently, we have few churches under this Diocese, which is one of the prerequisites to become a full fledged Diocese,’ he said.
In his comment, the Diocese Vice Lay President, Odofin Adebola Obayan, charged the members of the church to ensure that the church attained full-fledged diocese status by February next year.
‘The Primate’s visit is Episcopal, it means the General Superintendent of the Church is around to check on us and know how we are faring. It is the first of its kind since his ascension as the Primate. We use this opportunity to let the world know that we still exist as a united vineyard of God.
‘Our own is a missionary diocese and we are out to expand the scope of the church to a full-fledged diocese. By the African Church’s constitution, to become a diocese, you must have, at least, three archdeaconries, and currently, we have two.
‘So, we have as our target, to get two additional archdeaconries between now and the end of the year, to be able to attain the status of a diocese,’ Obayan stated.