Bt Caleb Ayansina
ABUJA – The Nigerian Baptist Convention, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to rise up to the challenges in the country that are bringing untold hardship to the populace with a view to providing lasting solution to them.
This was the part of the recommendations issued at the just concluded 104th annual session of the denomination held this week in Abuja, presided over by its President who is also the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr Samson Ayokunle.
The communique signed by the Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, focused on the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari; security challenges, anti-corruption war; unemployment, unpaid wages and salaries with attendant problems, the menace of the university admission, including delayed budget 2017 and proffered a far reaching solutions to them.
The communiqué decried the secrecy surrounding the health of Mr. President, Mohammadu Buhari, while praying for his quick recovery.
“We thank the Almighty God for the life of our President Muhammadu Buhari who fell ill and travelled for medical attention abroad. We observe with dismay the political under current that surrounds the health of our dear President especially the lack of openness in telling Nigerians that he went for medical attention,” it said.
The church also called on the government not to relent its efforts in addressing the insecurity challenges, recommending that “Government should be proactive in responding to security challenges and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.
“We encourage the Federal Government to provide relief materials for the affected communities in Southern Kaduna Area and other places to cushion the effect of the crisis.
“The Fulani Herdsmen caught or implicated in criminal activities should be made to face the full wrath of the law for their crime without sentiment or emotional appeal.
“The Government should leave no stone un-turned in fighting Boko Haram insurgency and their sponsors at all levels.
“We encourage government to intensify effort to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls still in the custody of Boko Haram.
“Government must equip and empower our Law Enforcement Agencies to enable them tackle the security challenges in our nation. For instance, their welfare should be given priority to boost their morale and confidence in the war against crime and criminal activities.
“Since the people of Southern Kaduna are farmers, we urge government to provide enough security in the area to enable them return to their agricultural business and farming activities without hindrance. There should be security cover in the villages as well.
“The Fulani herdsmen blocking highways, robbing and kidnapping people for ransom from Abuja, Kaduna to Jos should be apprehended and brought to book without further delay.”
On the anti-corruption war, Baptist Convention observed that “several amount of money running to trillions of naira have been recovered from people and locations in Nigeria. We therefore urge government to continue the fight against corruption without sentiment, bias or selective disposition. We also call on Government to put the money recovered so far into the economy of the nation so as to positively affect and impact the lives of Nigerians.”
The church insisted that the Paris Club Loan Refund to the State should be used for the purpose it was meant for, adding that it was criminal for the fund to be diverted by some state government.
“We observe that some State Governments did not use the money for the specific purposes for which they are meant. There is information that the monies are being diverted and or misappropriated. We urge the Federal Government to compel the State Governments to use the money for the purposes for which they are released,” it stated.
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