Nigeria’s Premier Church – Methodist Church Nigeria has challenged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Administration to urgently take pragmatic steps to ameliorate hunger and other forms of sufferings of Nigerians, including restoring the battered economy and repair the nation’s deplorable roads.
Methodist men under the umbrella of National Men’s Fellowship of the church made the appeal in a communique issued at the end of the 23rd/3rd biennial national conference of the National Men’s Fellowship of the Methodist Church Nigeria, with the theme: ‘Men, Upholding the Faith of Our Fathers’ (Jude 1:3), held at the Groves Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State from Thursday 16 to Saturday 19 November, 2023.
The Fellowship in a statement signed by her National Public Relations Officer, Sir ‘Tunde Babalola KJW, JP said the Conference in total faith in God re-echoed that the time of surplus is coming in Nigeria, and appealed to all Nigerians not to be discouraged with the ways things have become so difficult in the nation because of the fuel subsidy removal recently by President Tinubu.
The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, was among six eminent Nigerians honoured with the awards of Pillars of Support during the conference, which was officially declared open by the Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Oliver Ali Aba, who was represented by the Archbishop of Ikot-Ekpene, The Most Rev’d (Dr) Etim Ekong in company of the Connexional Secretary for Evangelism and Discipleship, Right Rev’d Inyang Effiong, and several other bishops.
Two personalities – Sir Hon. Adasi Ubulom and Sir Barr. Samuel O. Osahon were also honoured with the maiden Samuel Wesley Awards for good parenting, eight personalities including the retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Sir Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen GCON were decorated with awards of Worthy Ambassador of Christ, and another six persons were in the category of Pillar of Men’s Fellowship Awards.
The communique, which was made available to journalists was signed by Elder Uche Achugbuo, National Secretary; Very Rev James Adikwu, National Coordinator; and Sir (Dr.) Kehinde Oladeji, National President of the Fellowship.
The communique read in part: “The conference advocated faith and consistent prayer for a time of surplus in Nigeria. It believed that a time of surplus is coming in the country. We should not be discouraged by things that are becoming difficult in the nation because of the fuel subsidy removal. The Conference noted that It is true that Nigerians have been enduring the situation. But after a long tunnel, there will be light. It prays that soonest things will come back to normal and we shall all have cause to laugh with believe in God’s power of restoration.
“The leadership of Nigeria should evolve deliberate policies that will build institutions that will be stronger than individuals. It is an anathema for individuals to be stronger than institutions. If this country will join the league of developed nations, it must build stronger institutions towards rising above tribalism, corruption, marginalisation, nepotism and so on.
“It is essential for all citizens to support the government at federal, state, and local government levels to overcome Nigeria’s challenges with faith and prayer. The success of the three tiers of government will rub off positively on the citizenry. However, the Conference made a call to action for men to take leadership roles in their families and communities to support the government and overcome Nigeria’s challenges with faith and prayer.
“The Conference condemned in strongest terms the banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of insecurity in the country and enjoined the government to do everything within her power to eliminate the menace and take Nigeria out of te quagmire.
“The Conference emphasised the importance of real men of prayer in defending God’s word, with a charge to them to lead their families in worship. It noted that for the society to be peaceful, adequate attention must be paid to the family units. It observed that the troublemakers in the society come from different family units. Each real man must not fail in his responsibility to his family, the society and Almighty God in raising children that will be God-fearing and that will contribute immensely to the development of the society.
“The Conference, which acknowledged the harsh economic conditions in Nigeria enjoined the men of the Methodist Church, and everyone to draw closer to God in prayer. It urged the government to take steps to ameliorate hunger and other forms of sufferings of Nigerians.
“The Conference advised men and women, both young and old, to take care of their health and avoid harmful habits. It urged them to refrain from whatsoever that can cut their lives short, and habits that are injurious to their health. It urged them to distance themselves from whatsoever that can make them develop old age health conditions.
“The three tiers of government and corporate organisations should prioritise investment in the youth of Nigeria as a matter of deliberate policy. The priority areas should focus on investment in the education of the youth, provision of employment opportunities for them, and creation of an enabling environment for them to be gainfully employed by starting their own businesses.
“The Federal Government should take stock of all federal roads across Nigeria and their conditions. A few of them are in good condition. But many of them are in deplorable state. The roads that are not in good condition have not only led to a waste of human hours on the road, they have also caused accidents that claimed many precious an productive lives, capable of contributing to national growth. The Conference took a swipe at the way some youth have capitalised on the situation to barricade the deplorable roads at strategic points to extort money from motorists. We, therefore, call on the federal and state governments to work together to fix the appalling roads.”