Presbyterian Church Calls For Overhaul Of Nigeria’s Security System, Seeks Improved Christians Participation In Politics

In Breaking News, International News, National News

By Jonathan Ugbal

Barely 24 hours after the National Economic Council announced plans to decentralize the Nigeria Police Force, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (PCN) has condemned the lack of effective measures to check the widespread killing s and violence in the country and called for an overhaul of the security architecture.

This was contained in a seven point communiqué issued at the end of the 23rd general assembly of the PCN held from August 10th to 17th, 2018 at the Hope Waddell Parish sanctuary in Calabar and obtained by CrossRiverWatch.

“The church notes with dismay, the current security challenges in the country charaterised by widespread killings, intimidation and general violence perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen and rampaging bandits. It is even more worrisome to note the lack of effective measures to check the rising spate of killings and to arrest and prosecute those behind the carnage,” the communiqué signed by the moderator of the general assembly, His Eminence, Nzie Eke and the principal clerk, The Reverend Eseme William read.

It continued: “The church therefore calls for an urgent overhaul of the nation’s security apparatus to check the evil trend of killings and criminality across the nation. Adequate equipping in terms of meeting the manpower needs of the security agencies as well as the provision of enough arms, ammunition and other logistics should be vigorously pursued to restore the value of life and property in Nigeria.”

The church also encouraged Christians across the country to be “engaged in partisan politics through the practice of ‘politics of righteousness.’ The church believes that the engagement of Christians in politics according to the teachings of Jesus Christ will provide the enabling environment for the emergence of a godly society.”

The church also spoke on the intrigues in the polity ahead of the 2019 elections, the economy and the extension of the deadline for the continuous voter registration which it commended and called on its members as well as other Nigerians to register in order to “elect credible leadership to govern the nation.”

On the elections, the church viewed with dismay, the intrigues and defections which it said have generated so much tension and cautioned to play by the rules in order to deepen democratic practice and move the country forward while appealing that, “the political class and every other stakeholder in the electoral process to conduct their activities with decorum, decency and the fear of God in order that peace may reign as the nation transits from one political administration to another.”

On the economy, the church called for effective steps to be taken to reposition the economy. The church said there was need to “revamp the economy of the nation to empower majority of the populace to be meaningfully engaged in the production of goods and services in order to stem the tide of rising poverty.”

Attendees at the 23rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria at the Hope Waddell parish sanctuary, Calabar. GHC/Sunny Inah

The church further urged the federal government to “address adequately, the need for the provision of enough infrastructural facilities such as roads, potable water, electric power supply, healthcare, an enabling security environment to further enhance the engagement of the people in poverty alleviation activities which will in turn enhance the economy as well as reduce the rising wave of crime and vices and the tendency of youths who are held captive by economic desperation and misinformation to embark on perilous migration trips to seek elusive greener pastures overseas.”

The 23rd general assembly was attended by delegates drawn from the ten Synods of the church in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Mali and Burkina Faso. Delegates form partner churches abroad particularly the Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian churches in Ghana and South Africa. Also, representatives of other churches and ecumenical agencies in Nigeria were in attendance.

The opening ceremony had Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari in attendance. He was represented by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winnifred Oyo-Ita. Governors Ben Ayade and Udom Emmanuel of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States were also represented.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honorable Yakubu Dogara represented by Honorable Jonathan Gbiri, Senator Gershom Bassey, Honorable Uko Ndukwe and Honorable Uzoma Abonta were also in attendance alongside the Special Adviser to President Buhari on national assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang.

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