From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Kabba, Kogi State, Rt. Rev. Steven Kayode Akobe, has said President Muhammadu Buhari must get Nigeria out of recession and drive the economy into recovery and growth as Nigerians are dying of hunger. He gave the advice during the 8th Synod of the diocese at the St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral, Kabba, with the title; “God is Looking for Disciples, Are You One?”
The bishop said the period of shifting blames for the myriad of problems facing the country is over as it has become a tired political argument, saying the patience of Nigerians are growing thin each day:
“I think 2017 is the year Buhari must define his Presidency and how prepared he is to lead a diverse nation like ours. Nigerians are tired on living in denials this year will prove whether the APC at the centre is truly ready to govern. Nigerians lived through 2016 dangerously, they barely survived, hope faded in Nigeria great recession swallowed everything we got.
“With recession came the collapse of our standard of living. Inflation galloped to unprecedented rate of 18.4 percent, the worst in over three decades. Prices of essential food items went wild naira took the gravest beating depreciating to almost 500 to a dollar.
“Getting Nigeria out of recession and driving the economy and growth must top government priority this year. Everything that is necessary must be put in place to stimulate to bolster the economy. The economy remains Buhari’s Achilles heels.
“Nobody is saying Buhari will solve all Nigeria’s problems, but when the people elected a president over other available alternatives, it should be seen as duty to perform, not a prize won.
“We advise that the President should overhaul his cabinet, he needs people who know how to build support in different sectors. Some of the appointees in the present cabinet have become spent forces who are no longer useful to what we require that will bring the positive change. Buhari should ask himself what does Nigeria wants, not what he wants for Nigeria.”
While commending him on his anti-corruption stance, the man of God said the proliferation of internal military operations in the country should be a serious source of concern to everyone. He said at the last count, Nigeria, which is not under attack from other countries has over 14 full-scale military operations under different coded names:
“The police and DSS were supposed to be our internal security first respondents. But these agencies have been thoroughly degraded that both seemed to have lost the reasons for their existence.
“The DSS, in addition to hanging around politicians and political office holders, would be more interested in doing EFCC’s job in fighting corruption and raiding bureau de change markets rather than engaging in generating timely and quality intelligence to aid in the nation’s internal security.
“Is it not shameful that we have a well funded and well equipped secret police service agency in this country and we still have groups like Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants and rampaging Fulani herdsmen metamorphosed from village criminal gangs to the present well organised international syndicates without being spotted and checkmated at the onset?
“It is not too good that we have to rely on the military for our internal security because other security agencies seemed to have failed us. Whether any one wants to hear this or not, Nigerian military is doing a good job today, but this is not without some serious consequences to the future of our armed forces.
“We should honestly look at this issue with a view to reinvent our police and DSS to effectively take over the majority of the internal security operations and freeing our military from the encumbrance of chasing armed robbers and cattle rustlers, Nigeria shall be great again.”
Akobe said a disciple is a committed follower of Jesus Christ who forsakes all he or she has for the sake of the master and the kingdom:
“Jesus is asking us to do and be what He did and who He was, that is what a disciple is. A disciple is a learner, one who learns to live, act, speak and think like Jesus. No one, no cost, no thing is to take precedence over or interfere with our relationship with Jesus.”
The bishop summed up by saying that a disciple is one who openly confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. One who obeys Christ in everything, suffers for Him, becomes like Him in everything and one who loves other believers in the Lord. He identified three types of disciples as, lip service, half committed and true disciples. He urged Christians to be true disciples of Christ so as to preach the gospel with boldness.
Other speakers included, Rt. Rev. Ikupolati of Ijumu Diocese, Rt. Rev J A Olusola, Rt. Rev Rufus Ajileye Adepoju, Rev Kayode Adebisi and Rev Adewale Amosun.
A communiqué at the end of the synod called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the completion of the Kabba-Obajana Road and provide farm implements and incentives to the real farmers in the rural areas to reduce the level of poverty in the country.
It also called on the state government to pay the salaries of its workers and reopen the tertiary institutions currently in the fifth month of industrial action over the nonpayment of workers’ salaries. The communiqué also called on the administrator of Kabba-Bunu Local Government to look inward and convert some historical sites in the area into tourists attraction to rev up the revenue of the council.