By Job Osazuwa
Worried by the spate of insecurity across Nigeria, New Estate Baptist Church, has called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to halt the ugly trend.
At a briefing today, in Surulere, Lagos, to commemorate the church’s 60th anniversary, the church stated that the peace and unity of the country was not negotiable, hence, the need for a quick action.
The Pastor in charge of the church, Rev. Amos Achi Kunat, said that people would thrive best in their endeavours under a democratic setting that is free of maiming and killings. But he pointed out that Nigeria was faced with multifaceted challenges that are hindering its development.
He said that Nigeria’s democracy has not gained the expected traction that allows for the free reign of dividends that are the hallmarks of democracy to flourish.
More worrisome among the challenges, according to him, are the economic, socio-cultural and insecurity occasioned by Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, farmers/herders’ killings and kidnapping.
As one of the ways out, he recommended the need for Nigeria’s security agencies to be decentralised for better impact at the grassroots level given the present security challenges threatening the fabrics of the country’s nationhood.
“As a church, we are always praying for the intervention of God in the affairs of our dear nation; for the success of our political leaders and for the peace of Nigeria, so that we all can enjoy peace, progress and prosperity.
“Given the loud cries of the people, we, therefore, want to use this opportunity of our 60th anniversary to appeal to the government of the day to be more responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“We call on the government to do all within its power and muster all resources available to it as well as employ the services of Nigerians across the different spectrums of life to find lasting solutions to the economic and security problems confronting the nation before they assume a dangerous curve,” Kunat said.
The cleric appealed President Muhammadu Buhari led adminstration to be fully committed to the deepening of Nigeria’s democratic experiment by ensuring that all the sections and regions of the country were given a sense of belonging.
In his words, everything possible must be done to restructure the polity through constitutional means to ensure that every region of the country is equally catered for.
He added that more powers must be devolved to the states and local government councils as well as allocate more resources to them to enable them cope with the responsibilities of modern day challenges and governance.
“We believe strongly in the unity and indivisibility of the country because in unity we stand. Our diversity remains our strength and hallmark as a people and nation.
“Government needs to empower the private sector to be able to take charge of the commanding heights of our economy and to enable Nigerian companies compete globally,” he advised.
On the church celebration, he said that 60 years in the life of a nation, organisation or individual means a lot and, therefore, something to rejoice about.
“As we celebrate while observing COVID-19 protocols, the celebration is not necessarily to sing the praise of the church but an occasion to reflect on the goodness and mercies of God and place on record some of the milestones that the church has recorded within these 60 years.
“This is aptly captured in the theme of the anniversary: “New Estate Baptist Church Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: An Enduring Legacy”.
“Here, we discipline members to live a life of Christ so that they will become good ambassadors wherever they go.
“Whether COVID-19 or not, we have special ministries – Care and Benevolence, which are saddles with the responsibility of attending to the social welfare of the people. We have paid school fees, house rents for members; distributed foods and clothes to members and non-members alike,” the pastor revealed.