From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The newly elected Prelate and Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Rev Ekpenyong Nyong Akpanika has felicitated with Nigeria on the occasion of her 62nd independence anniversary.
In a release signed by Rev Nnoke Ibe, director of Information and Public Affairs of Presbyterian Church, Rev Akpanika expressed his good wishes to President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians at large.
As the nation celebrates her 62nd anniversary the Prelate acknowledged that it must have been hectic for the president to steer the ship of leadership of a nation whose challenges seem
intractable and insurmountable.
Rev Akpanika regretted that in the past 23 years of the nation’s democratic experience, the people have not had the best democracy can provide.
“We have the chance of changing that narrative. Our dear President, I want to remind you that you are on the threshold of history. You have an excellent and one chance in a lifetime opportunity to
inscribe your name in the annals of history among the greatest statesmen and women that ever walked
the corridors of power.
“The shape the coming election assumes will surely decide how history will remember you. We all remember that your predecessor superintended over one of the few elections that were adjudged to be free and fair and handed over power to you under a peaceful and cordial
“It is now your turn to replicate that gesture and possibly improve on the electoral processes of Nigeria”.
The Prelate said the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria will continue to encourage and support Nigeria in its bid to institute
a culture of electoral excellence not only by urging its members to participate actively in politics but also
by showing good example in conducting free and fair elections.
“This tradition was recently exemplified in the process of choosing new leadership for the Church of which I am a beneficiary”.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a level playing ground for all parties and candidates, while the electorate must not allow themselves to be used as agents of disruption.
“As the present government prepares to leave office, I want to remind our leaders that there are issues
that need to be settled before the date of handing over to the next government. We expect that the issues that led to the long ASUU strike must be resolve once and for all.
“Also, the activities of terrorists in the cloak of bandits and kidnappers who seem to be operating without any check must be brought under control”, he said.
Akpanika expressed the hope that despite the challenges the country was facing at present, Nigeria will rise again.