From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Kaduna Diocese of Anglican Communion, yesterday rose from its 22nd Synod and called for national rebirth, saying that, agitation for break up of Nigeria, were as a result of perceived injustice at the centre.
This was also as it said that Nigeria ought not to be poverty capital of the world, when the country is sitting on gold with its abundant resources.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the Synod, its President and Bishop of Kaduna Diocese, Rev Dr. Timothy Yahaya also said that, the Federal Government must rise in defence of schools against banditry and kidnapping, saying that, next generation will not forgive the present government if schools are shut down.
According to him, “Secessionists are calling for secession because there is injustice at the centre. But when everyone is happy, nobody will care who is a Yoruba, Tiv, Igbo or Kanuri, they will only see themselves as one Nigerians. America is more diverse that Nigeria, yet they live as a nation and they are very happy and they are the giant of the world. In our diversity is our strength, in our diversity is the beauty of live.
“If we don’t restructure this country, to solve the numerous challenges we find ourselves, it is my prayer that this big and great nation, this wonderful and prosperous nation will not be submerged one day. May God forbid that.
“We also call on all Nigerians to eschew hatred and all forms of bigotry. The people that are aggrieved should be called to the discussion table. We must remember that all the wars that have been fought in the history of the world were resolved on the discussion table. Blood and lives of human beings are sacred, therefore, all those that have grievances should come to the discussion table and we solve our problems, after all, we are all brothers in humanity.
“On the attacks on schools, we are disturbed that it is only in Nigeria that things happen and happen again. The philosophy of Boko Haram is that, western education is a crime and today, they are attacking schools. They started in the North East and it is now spreading to all over the place. One day, this country would not be able to run school.
“Why are the schools not safe despite the ‘Safe the school initiative’? Where is the money for that project? It is only in Nigeria that you can budget for safe the school program and the schools are not safe. In Nigeria, the more you budget for power, the more darkness you have, the more you budget for security, the more insecured we are what kind of a nation are we?
“The next generation will not forgive us if schools are shutdown. The only sure foundation for development is number one education. We are today loosing foriegn investment because people think we are not serious.
“On the calls for break up of Nigeria. If you give Biafra today, only in Imo state the Okigwe and Orlu men will fight over who becomes the leader. If we have a problem as Nigerians, let us agree that we have a problem and solve the problem.
“The world is becoming global today, so all these idea of we want to leave is because there are problems in the current state of Nigeria. If those problems disappear, everyone will want to fly the flag of Nigeria and carry the green passport and say I am a Nigerian.
“Our leaders should hear this very clearly, don’t pretend there is a problem in Nigeria: a problem of marginalization, a problem of oppression, a problem of segregation, a problem of religious differences. People don’t think about Nigeria first, they think by their religion, region and tribes.
“If we want to practice federalism in Nigeria, let us practice federalism in the true sense of it. If we want to practice a unitry system of government, let us do that. These things are failing because we have a constitution that is confused; a unitry constitution called a federal constitution, how do you expect children in schools to be safe?
“We should be ashamed that, the next generation will write in the annals of history that when we went to school, schools were safe and in our days in school, they gave us milk and all manner of goodies, including soap to bathe, but today, their parents are paying to send then to school only for kidnappers to come and abduct the. We must right the wrongs and rewrite the history of this country,” Bishop Yahaya said.
Speaking further on the theme of the Synod “For This God Is Our God”, the Anglican Bishop said, “we got the theme from Psalm 48:14. And why is God leading us to talk about this is that, if you look at what is happening in Njgeria, they didn’t happen in Rwanda and we saw the massacre there. Things that are happening in Nigeria didn’t happen in Somalia, but look at where Somalia is today and you can go on and on.
“Nations of the world are almost obliterated by violence and all sort of crisis because of things that have happened that are not even up to 10 per cent of what is happening in Nigeria. But this God has being the God of Nigeria. At times it will seem like the next day Nigeria will disappear, but God has kept Nigeria till now. This God is truly the God of Nigeria.
“Secondly, if you look at the nature of stealing in Nigeria, Nigeria is the richest country in the world as far as I am concerned, no wonder they steal and steal and Nigeria is still moving. The amount of money stolen in Nigeria, if 10 per cent of it is stolen in Europe of America, their economy will crash, they will have no government. People steal in trillions in Nigeria yet God is still keeping us.
“If you look at the level of mutual distrust among Nigerians, which is unfortunate, when we were growing, we didn’t know who was a Muslim and who was a Christian, who came from the North or South, we were all Nigerians, we were all brothers. But when you look at how divided we are today, when someone is talking on a national television, no matter how truthful and objective he is, we begin to took at his religious and ethnic background and that determines whether what you are saying is accepted or not.
“My dear people of God, one of the lectures in this synod is national rebirth. There is need for Nigeria to be born again; we need to change from our ways, we need to bless Nigeria, we need to begin to say this country can only be built by our sweat, by our efforts, by our sacrifices.
“And one of the ways we have proferred for the diversification of our economy, because this monolithic economy that depends on crude oil will no longer work very soon. Some countries have given themselves the target of 2025 when they will no longer use vehicle with fuel. They are going solar, they are going electric. Now, when they go solar and electric, except our leaders are thinking fast, we will be left behind. And look at us still relying on oil.
“Whenever I hear people talk about how to handle cattle, I get amazed; we hate ourselves. Do you know how much a litre of fresh milk is? It is more than a litre of crude oil. So, if this government will sit down and say only from milk in this country, we want in the next five years the production of milk to be more than the export of crude oil, this country will be better for it. Do you know a litre of palm oil is more than a litre of crude oil in the international market? This country is sitting on gold, yet we are the poverty capital of the world.
“It is a shame, it is a disgrace that a country that of young population is not moving forward, because we seem to be retrogressive.
“In the agricultural sector, we want to warn that, genetically modified seeds that are coming into Nigeria are already substituting our local seeds in the name of all sorts of production, we have to be careful. Are the seeds healthy for consumption? The second aspect of it is that, our food security is hanging on the balance because the people that produce these seeds are not Nigerians, so, they decide whether we have seeds to farm or not. Some of these seeds, if you plant them this year, next year, you must get back to the producer for another seeds. We really have to be careful on the way we depend on these things,” Bishop Yahaya said.