From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has expressed regrets that 61 years after independence, Nigeria is still grappling with leadership challenge.
He pointed out that because of such leadership failure, Nigeria is now at a point in its history needing God more than ever.
He made the assertion at the interdenominational church service organised in commemoration of the 61st independence anniversary of Nigeria at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor stated that there was hardly anything for Nigerians to celebrate because its leadership continues to entrench hatred, mediocrity, promote ethnicity and religion.
“This is the time that Nigeria needs God more. The country is gone. Insecurity everywhere. Everyone needs to say God, we need You because man’s leadership has failed this country.”
The governor noted that, perhaps, the only thing Nigerians could boast of celebrating is the existence of the name, Nigeria.
“At 61 years, Nigeria is full of enmity, full of divisions, hatred, ethnicity. A country that cannot put themselves together. Everybody has responsibility; so, ask yourself questions, have I done my own part?”
Governor Wike also observed the sorry state of Nigeria and said at 61, it was far removed from being a country that could compete favourably with prosperous countries of the world, given its abundant resources.
The governor bemoaned what has become of the nation’s legislature that continues to approve anything for the presidency not minding the consequences.
He also decried how the nation’s judiciary has succumbed to intimidation because its judges had abandoned their responsibilities out of fear.
The governor wondered what fate Nigerians would have under such seeming tyrannical atmosphere.
“We cannot do the right things. Other countries are talking about how their elections will be transparent, we are talking about how we will rig the election in 2023.
“Simple thing… transmit election results electronically to show transparency; that, really, that the person you’re declaring won the election but, we are afraid.
“Where is the legislature. A legislature that cannot think, a legislature of anything they (Presidency) bring is right, a legislature that cannot say Nigeria has nothing to regret from conducting free and fair election. A legislature that you’ll close your eyes, anything they bring about borrowing, you say borrow. A legislature that cannot say this money we are borrowing, where is it, where are you applying it? You have no confidence to ask questions.
“The courts have been intimidated. The judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear. You’re seeing something that is wrong but because you will be summoned in the night, you abandoned your responsibility.”
Governor Wike also blamed the woes the country has suffered on all Nigerians who have refused to do the right things but rather allowed the wrong things to be perpetrated in all facets of the society. He noted how ascendancy to leadership was no longer by merit but by ethnic affinity and religious consideration, even when such person did not have the capacity required to function in such office.
He berated the church leadership over the inordinate dressing of a young man that he saw in the church. He attribute such sight to lack of discipline enforced in the church.
In his sermon, Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, noted that only foolish people despise God and attribute their successes in life to their personal efforts and ingenuity .
He said such foolish people abound in Nigeria because they have hearts of corruption, treat humanity with disdain and delight in doing abominable things and divert public funds for personal use.
He said it was baffling that despite having leadership over the country, there was unabated spree of killings, a seemingly thriving kidnapping business with some officers of the nation’s military killed without drastic measures taken to return Nigeria to the path of sanity.
Bishop Ihunwo, while charging the church to rise to speak courageously against the wickedness in the land, declared the judgment of God upon sponsors of such killings and kidnapping that have put Nigeria in a pitiable state, that its people cannot celebrate the independence of the country at 61 years.
Special prayers were said for God’s favour and grace upon Nigeria and its leaders, Rivers State Executive Council, judiciary and the legislature, Governor Wike and his family as well as the church and its leaders.