From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan and Charity Nwakaudu Abuja
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has cautioned the Federal Government against further aggravating the suffering of Nigerians through the proposed subsidy removal.
Its President, Bishop Wale Oke, noted that the implementation of such a policy could increase the hardship being experienced, especially by the masses.
He also contended that the planned introduction of N5,000 for 40million poor Nigerians would create a cesspool of corruption.
This caution was contained in a statement by his Media Office, and made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State, yesterday.
Oke, who is the Presiding Bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries international, with headquarters in Ibadan, lamented that prices of consumables and other items were increasingly becoming out of reach, noting that if the proposed subsidy removal is effected, it would heighten the hardship.
“Everybody will feel it, particularly the underprivileged. The negative effects will surely outweigh the positive. The cost of transportation for human and goods across the country, will skyrocket and other things connected, which will have a spiral effect on general living standard of the populace; the suffering will be multi-dimensional. Please let all stakeholders be sensitive to this avoidable path and do the needful.”
He admonished the government to do all it could to revive the four ailing refineries in the country, with a view to ensuring they operate at optimal level for a lasting benefit, for the country and its people.
“By whatever means, let the Federal Government put its heart into ensuring that our refineries are back to life. In addition, in order to stem the rising cost of living, farmers and others connected to them should be encouraged. This is what can help our economy,” he stressed.
While maintaining that the Christian body would always support policies that would enhance good governance, he charged the government to put in place tangible palliative measures that could ameliorate the hardship being experienced.
“Without begging the issue, there should be well defined palliative measures in place that can cushion the effect of the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, especially the commoners. One is not talking about political palliatives that never last. We have seen enough of such.
“An increase in the price of petroleum from its present N165 to N340 per litre, can trigger tension and crises in the country, which in turn can paralyse our economy if not handled with utmost care.Again, the planned introduction of N5,000 for 40 million poor Nigerians, is to create a cesspool of corruption. How do you define ‘the poor? They, mostly, don’t use telephones. They, mostly, don’t have bank accounts. How will the money get to them?”
He advised government to be wary of policies that could jeopardise the conduct of the 2023 general elections, insisting that all hands must be geared towards steering the wheel of the country to safety.
He also implored the government not to relent in its efforts at ensuring that security challenges in the country become a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, President of Vision Africa, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, has blamed the socio-economic and political challenges ravaging Nigeria and the world on lack of love and tolerance.
He stated this at the annual harvest thanksgiving of the Methodist church Nigeria, Cathedral of Unity, Diocese of Abuja, yesterday.
He stressed that Nigeria is one and must learn to forgive each other in order to be able to regain its lost sweetness.
“For this country is regain its lost glory and move forward economical, we must learn how to forgive each other. Once we have a group of people, offence must certainly occur. So, there is need for us to continually forgive ourselves.
“We don’t need to be discouraged due to the level of crisis in the country because God is still in charge and is out to deliver the country. We need to love ourselves.”
The clergy, therefore admonished Nigerians not to be discouraged, adding that God is still in charge ànd is set to redeem Nigeria.
Chairman, harvest committee, Offon Akpabio, appealed TO Nigerians to renew their mindsets because God is out to change the situation of the nation.