Political Issues: The anglican voice – A word from Primate Nicholas Okoh

Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

Insecurity Around The Country
Without trying to overstress insecurity matters around the country, the Standing Committee wishes to remind the Federal Government that we have not forgotten Leah Sharibu, and never will, until she and others held captive by the Boko Haram Islamic sect are released unhurt to reunite with their families.

Furthermore, the pockets of unprovoked attacks being reported constantly, especially in some of the Northeastern states are becoming worrisome.

We appeal to the Federal Government to increase efforts towards restoring permanent peace in these trouble areas before it escalates in an uncontrollable manner to other regions.

New Minimum Wage
The Standing Committee wishes to commend the Federal Government for its concern for workers, especially with the move to review the Minimum Wage.

The fact, however, remains that the Federal Government needs to be more realistic with its position on the matter.

While the issue of increment in workers’ salaries is important, perhaps, what is more important is reviving the economy of the country to enable us generate more funds. We appeal to both sides to make haste and conclude.

ASUU strike
The incessant strike actions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have become a recurring incident frustrating the academic calendars of our teeming youths.

Considering the role of quality education in national development, the Standing Committee urges ASUU to make realistic demands and the Federal Government to toe the path of integrity and keep to its promises.

Both parties should place the due premium on education because of the masses that cannot afford private universities or the cost of studying abroad.

This is an urgent call to rescue the education sector by finding permanent solution to this persistent malaise.

2019 General Elections
The long-awaited and much-talked about 2019 General Elections are finally here. Never in the past history of our country has election time been greeted with such widespread anxiety.

The Standing Committee wishes to remind political parties and public office seekers that in every election, there are bound to be winners and losers.

Furthermore, every election result should reflect the will of the electorates; otherwise, it becomes a mockery of the whole exercise.

As we go again for another decisive moment for the future of this country, we appeal to all eligible voters to resist every inducement tended towards buying votes, as this will spell doom for all of us in the coming years.

We appeal to INEC not only to maintain the posture of an unbiased umpire in this exercise, but to also be verifiably seen to be doing so in every part of the country throughout the elections.

If we must have free, fair and credible elections, all security agencies must remain neutral in this exercise.

The military, the police, and others must be there to protect the interest of Nigeria as a nation, not individuals or particular political parties.

We call on youths to refuse to be used to create chaos by men and women, whose children have been taken to safety outside the shores of this country.

INEC officials, political parties, their representatives, members, general electorate and of course, the votes must be protected without partiality.

(Culled from THE OPENING ADDRESS by His Grace, The Most Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD, DD.; Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate Of All Nigeria, to the Church of Nigeria Standing Committee held at St Andrew’s Cathedral Church Warri from February 4 to 8, 2019)

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