Clerics seek end to allocation of oil wells to individuals

Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Kehinde Stephen (left); Secretary of Evangelical Discipleship, Rt. Rev Edoka Amute and Prelate, Dr. Samuel Uche; at a media briefing on the church’s 34th Council of Bishops Conference in Ibadan, Oyo State …yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Kehinde Stephen (left); Secretary of Evangelical Discipleship, Rt. Rev Edoka Amute and Prelate, Dr. Samuel Uche; at a media briefing on the church’s 34th Council of Bishops Conference in Ibadan, Oyo State …yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Council decries fuel scarcity, budget logjam, workers’ pay arrears
The Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church Nigeria, yesterday, demanded stoppage to allocation of oil wells to individual Nigerians in line with the anti-corruption stance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rising from its 34th yearly conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Prelate, Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche, said the exploration of oil should no longer be shrouded in secrecy.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the event, the clerics expressed concern over the persistent scarcity of petroleum products, especially petrol and charged the President to urgently appoint a substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources who would be answerable to him and not him assuming the role as such, according to them, “has proved counterproductive.”

“Mr. President has so much work to do for us and so should not be a Minister of Petroleum,” the council stated.

It also expressed concern over the menace of Fulani herdsmen, stressing that their activities were becoming worse than the onslaught of the Boko Haram insurgency, urging the Federal Government to take immediate action in establishing ranches rather than creating grazing zones.

On the 2016 Budget, the clerics charged the Executive and the Legislative arms of government to resolve the logjam so as to address the provision of social amenities for the general good of Nigerians. They frowned on the inability of some state governments to pay workers’ salaries in spite of the bailout funds.

“Some state governments are still owing their workers many months in arrears of salaries. The Federal Government must ascertain the appropriation of the bailout funds to the various states as a way of fighting impunity and corruption.”

The council also condemned the operation of joint account between the local councils and state governments, alleging that most governors pilfer council funds thus making grassroots development impossible.

While commending President Buhari over “his anti-corruption crusade, which would hopefully lead into a new era of accountability in governance and other spheres of life,” the clergies enjoined well-meaning citizens to support the President in the arduous task.

The clerics also appealed to government at all levels to look into the predicament of the girl-child, the rights of female children and all children in general, saying they were not comfortable with the situation where the abducted Chibok girls were yet to be rescued.



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