From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev’d Samuel Kanu Uche, has said Nigeria will be better if it is united and is not allowed to break up as is being agitated by secessionists.
The reverend made the observation at the weekend during the ongoing 59th annual synod of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Ibadan Diocese, which started on Thursday April 22, and will end with a thanksgiving service on Sunday April 25 in Ibadan, where the Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev’d Olumuyiwa Odejayi, has been the chief host.
Uche, whose addressed was delivered at the synod by the Chaplain, Chapel of Resurrection, University of Ibadan, Very Rev’d Kayode Oyelade, noted that the world has an estimated population of eight billion people out of which the Nigerians constitute about two hundred million.
‘With the development of technology, the world has become a global village, and what affects one part affects the other: East, West, North and South. For example, the Coronavirus pandemic of November/December 2019 spread like wild fire to every part of the world, and Nigeria inclusive,’ he said.
This development and others including insecurity, insurgency, banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, rape and other vices held sway in Nigeria, our beloved country.
‘Consequently, there have been accusation and counter-accusation as to the source or sources of the problems. The North blames the South, and the South blames the North. In addition, there has been inter and intra tribal and communal differences. To be candid, Nigeria is a pluralistic society with multi-tribal, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual ethnic entities. Therefore, leadership is very critical towards maintaining peace and harmony in the land. To this end, every elected or appointed leader should live above board and should be mature enough to effectively manage the diversities.
‘I am of the strong opinion that Nigeria will be better if and if only it us united without breaking up, provided nobody makes himself an out-law and no group arrogate to themselves the right to exclusively own Nigeria. On those who have decided to make themselves criminals or terrorists by whatever name, government should courageously punish them, according to the laws of the land. We need security and peaceful co-existence and all hands must be on deck to restore normalcy and stability.’
The Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev’d Olumuyiwa Odejayi, stated that ‘the state of the nation is of great concern to the church as we know that church exists in the confine of the nationhood. This implies that when negative and unwholesome activities are going on in the nation, the church will adversely be affected. The church- which is the light of the world and salt of the earth, therefore must be sensitive and responsive to that, in order to present corrective measures and cognitive consonance in the affairs of this nation.
‘Security in our nation is like a costly pearl, being sought by every citizen. The high level of insecurity of life and property is not only alarming but disturbing; as this, to great extent, drives off foreign investors and undermine every effort geared towards development in our nation.
‘The Synod in session condemns in strong terms, the inhuman and destructive activities perpetuated by the Islamic sect, called Boko Haram, in several parts of the country. The church is calling on the government and security agencies to rise and stop this menace before it will rage liked wired fire and jeopardize the existence of this nation.
‘The dangerous trend of the activities of bandits and kidnappers must be checked by our security agencies. Much is needed to do in equipping them with modern and sophisticated armoury to combat and exterminate these criminal elements. I warn that continuous politicisation of this state of insecurity will spell doom for our country. We also call on all Nigerians to eschew bitterness and embrace peace for the sustainability of fragile democracy.’