By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia and Segun Awofadeji in Gombe
After reviewing the alleged gross incompetence being displayed by the Presidency in providing security for the citizenry, the Umuahia Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign from office and forget about vying for re-election.
This is as Gombe Diocese of the church called on politicians across the country to desist from politics of violence, killings and thuggery as political activities pick up towards the 2019 general elections.
The Church also tasked the federal government “to clearly explain” to the world what happened to the traditional ruler of Isiama Afaraukwu, Eze Israel Kanu, his wife Ugoeze Sally and their son, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) after soldiers stormed the palace on September 14, 2017.
These demands were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the ninth synod of the Umuahia diocese held at St. Luke’s Church Amakama Olokoro in Umuahia South local government of Abia State. The synod had “frowned at the present crisis-ridden situation in the nation.
“The decision of the President to run for a second tenure should be reconsidered, and the synod called on him to resign honourably,” they said in the communiqué drafted by a 10-member committee headed by Venerable Alex Ihemekwala and Rev Nathaniel Ezemandu as secretary.
The synod further condemned the “disturbing activities of the rampaging Fulani herdsmen and the inability of the government to rein in the militants, adding that “this has led to pillage and destruction of villages and communities as well as dastardly massacre of innocent residents by the marauding Fulani herdsmen”.
It therefore regretted that the federal government had continued to foot-drag in taking decisive action against the rampaging herdsmen despite “national outcry against the Fulani herdsmen and calls for the federal government to declare them as terrorists”.
However it was not all condemnation as the synod appreciated the efforts made by the government to negotiate the release of some of the Chibok and Dapchi school girls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Still, the synod “frowned at the intermittent resurgence of Boko Haram attacks and abduction of school girls and other residents, after the present administration had told Nigerians that the sect had been technically defeated”.
On the general performance of elected political office holders, the synod noted that they had failed to adequately inform the electorate on the position and situation of things in the country at federal state and local government.
At the local level, the synod commended the Abia State government for the free school meal programme being implemented at the primary schools thereby increasing nutritional intake and combating malnutrition and poor academic performance.
Nonetheless the synod condemned the non-payment of backlog of salaries owed primary and secondary teachers in the state, and “advised that these backlogs of salaries be paid without further delay”.
The Gombe Diocese rose from the First Session of its Seventh Synod h yesterday at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Bolari, Gombe, a communiqué issued and signed by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Most Reverend Henry C Ndukuba, said it made the call in view of the coming 2019 general elections, politicians should desist from politics of hatred, bitterness, violence, thuggery, killings and brigandage.
It called on eligible citizens to go and get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and get rid of bad leaders at all tiers of Government in the country.
The Synod, though commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the establishment of the North-East Commission and the Presidential Initiative for Displaced People of the region, it however called on the Government to actively involve religious and community leaders stressing that “those who are affected are mostly Christians and Muslims from the local communities”.
While condemning what it described as “the incessant and unwarranted waste of lives” of innocent Nigerians in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Zamfara and Kaduna States by rampaging Fulani herdsmen and unidentified gunmen, the Synod called on the Government to manifestly resolve same in the interest of national cohesion.
It said, “the Nigerian Government should uphold the right of States to make laws suitable for the protection lives and properties.
“The Federal Government should entrench true federalism by reflecting federal character in appointments, employments and revenue allocation and restructure the country to ensure equity, unity and progress to assuage the incessant calls for session and militancy.”
The Synod also described the current minimum wage of N18, 000 as unrealistic in the face of present economic realities in the country and therefore called on the Federal Government to review upward the current minimum wage in order to alleviate the sufferings of the Nigerian masses