The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria has issued a communiqué after its recent meeting. What do you make of the topics covered and the tone?
The Communiqué issued at the end of the Standing Committee Meeting of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held from 21 to 25 September 2015 at the Cathedral Church of St David, Ijomu, Akure, Ondo State.
The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the leadership of the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria with his wife, Mrs Nkasiobi Okoh, President of the Women’s and Girl’s Organizations in attendance, met at the Cathedral Church of St David, Ijomu, Akure, Ondo State, from 21-15 September, 2015. One hundred and forty seven bishops, One Hundred and Fifty-Two clergymen, and Sixty-Eight members of the House of Laity were present. At the opening ceremony, the Standing Committee welcomed His Excellency, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Governor of Ondo State, who gave a goodwill message. The opening session was also graced with the presence of our Guest Speaker, Prof Jerry Gana, who presented a paper titled: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”.
At the end the Standing Committee issued this Communique:
THE THEME OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE
The theme of the Standing Committee was ‘Look and Live’ (Numbers 21:8)
Considering the challenges we face as a result of our experiences during trials and temptations in the world, the Standing Committee calls upon
- all Christians to exercise simple faith and obedience to God for victory by living lives that are characterized by honesty, truth and integrity and calls the Church to faithfulness in her message to uphold the holiness and righteousness of the Living God
- all Nigerians to pray to God for a quick end to insecurity of all types – insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, etc.
- Government at all levels to look up to God and forsake all vices and corrupt tendencies, so that there can be true development in our country.
The Standing Committee congratulates His Excellency Muhamadu Buhari and the Vice President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on their victory at the March 28, 2015 General Elections and assures them of the church’s continued prayers and willingness to partner with the government. The Standing Committee urges the President to endeavor to harness the vast resources which God has blessed the nation with, to transform it from a mono-economy to a diversified one.
The Standing Committee expresses his gratitude to the Federal Government on the successes achieved so far in the fight against insecurity and insurgency. It commends the Nigerian military for its gallantry and calls on the Federal Government to extend strong security presence to all the areas where kidnapping is thriving in order to completely arrest the menace and ensure security which is necessary for peace, free movement and development.
Of recent there has been an improvement on power supply across the country. It is on this note that the Standing Committee wishes to encourage the Federal Government to ensure that the promise to provide sustainable power be increasingly pursued so that the gains of privatization of the power sector are not only improved but also sustained as this is the key to industrialization and creation of job opportunities.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY
The Standing Committee notes with pain the very ugly challenge of poverty and unemployment and calls on Government at all levels to be more proactive in providing an enabling environment for the private sector to also assist in the area of job creation, for the teeming population of our youths.
The Standing Committee observes with delight the efforts that are being made towards revamping the economy of our nation and calls for intensified efforts to forestall the looming economic recession.
CORRUPTION AND INDISCIPLINE
We welcome the renewed zeal in the fight against corruption in the country. Accordingly, the Standing Committee urges all Nigerians to bury their differences – political, religious, ethnic etc. in the face of this common enemy that has held the country down since independence. We call on Government and all Nigerians to embark on a total war against indiscipline in our public and private lives. Those with the mandate to facilitate this process should ensure that this fight is total, comprehensive and successful.
THE STATE OF OUR ROADS
The Standing Committee recognizes the work of the Federal Government on the roads through FERMA. Ease of movement being a basic necessity, a lot more needs to be done to deliver good roads to Nigerians.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND FLOODING
Climate change has become a world-wide subject for detailed debate and attention but human practices have continued to worsen the situation. The impending gradual release of excess water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and the heavy rains expected in the remaining months of the year are a cause for serious concern. The Federal Government is consequently called upon to expedite action in ensuring that the effects of flooding are mitigated. People living on water ways are called upon to heed timely warnings and relocate to uplands.
ISSUE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The Standing Committee unanimously resolved to continue to maintain the orthodox biblical stand on this matter. It also calls on her members to defend the orthodox biblical teaching on marriage and family. On its part, the Federal Government is further enjoined to continue to resist the foreign pressure to make it rescind its stand on same-sex marriage.
THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION WORLD
While the Anglican Communion continues to be impaired by revisionist theologies of some Anglican Provinces, the Standing Committee calls the leadership of the Anglican Communion to repentance and renewed faith in Christ as expressed in the bible, the articles of religion and the Jerusalem Declaration, and further reaffirms our commitment on these as the basis of our relationship with other parts of the communion.
DEMISE OF CHIEF DR (MRS) HANNAH I.D. AWOLOWO
The Standing Committee received the news of the home call of Chief Dr (Mrs)
(Hannah I.D. Awolowo with gratitude to God for a life well spent. As a member of our Church, we testify that she lived an exemplary Christian life both in family and public. Apart from being a political icon, she was at different times a member of the General Synod and Standing Committee of our Church. May her gentle soul rest in peace.
The outward peace the world seeks can only come when men obediently embrace the inward peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ to whom the bronze replica of the poisonous serpent points. In all circumstances, therefore, let us as Christians and as a nation, in obedience and faith look up to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. He is the Lamb of Calvary and the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. “Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
Photo credit: Anglican News Service