THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (Anglican Communion)
THE MOST REV. PETER J. AKINOLA, D.D.
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.
THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD BETWEEN THURSDAY, 14TH AND FRIDAY, 15TH SEPTEMBER, 2006 AT ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL , DIOBU – PORT HARCOURT.
MESSAGE TO THE NATION
The Church of Nigeria met for the Standing Committee on Thursday 14th and 15th September, 2006, with the Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola DD, CON presiding.
The meeting considered the theme “We are on the Lord’s Side” (Exodus 32:26) and related matters carefully, and issues the following communiqué:
The Church affirms our commitment to the total rejection of the evil of homosexuality which is a perversion of human dignity and encourages the National Assembly to ratify the Bill prohibiting the legality of homosexuality since it is incongruent with the teachings of the Bible, Quran and the basic African traditional values.
The Immunity Clause
The Church recognizes that the law of the land is sacrosanct and inviolable. However, the constitution should be reviewed to allow the immunity clause to be limited in its applicability to civil matters. This implies that public officers alleged with the commission of a criminal offence should not be immuned from being investigated, charged and tried in a competent court of jurisdiction as appropriate.
The Church condemns all forms of violence, exploitation and inhuman treatment of teenagers who perform the role of domestic assistants in our various households. Constitutional provisions of the right to life and liberty must apply to teenagers/wards who serve as our domestic assistants.
The Current Electoral Process in Nigeria
The Church is worried that after about 46 years of independence, Nigerians are yet to imbibe a healthy democratic culture. Anti-democratic attitudes such as massive rigging, political thuggery, violence, and politics of bitterness and acrimony leading to politically-motivated assassinations still dominate our political landscape. The Church stands with INEC in its resolve to sanitize the political process by making a success of the 2007 general elections. We also call on all Nigerians to have a new orientation that will ensure the success of the ongoing electoral process.
The Anti-Corruption Crusade
The Church is delighted to note the historic and dogged determination of the present administration to take the battle against corruption beyond mere rhetoric. We salute the political will and courage to ensure that this hydra-headed monster is tamped out and alienated from our psyche. Worthy of special note is the incorruptible posture of the EFCC and the ICPC. We urge that the searchlight should be fully focused on all who are implicated – whoever they are and wherever they are; so that there is no repeat of the mockery of selective arrests and sacred cows that has bedeviled previous efforts.
While commending the efforts of the Federal Government in conducting the last National election, we urge that the repeated irregularities should be addressed and the result released to guide in our political configuration and also correct the structural imbalances of the 1999 constitution as it relates to the delineation of constituencies for electoral processes.
The Police, Democracy and Welfare Package
The Church recognizes the indispensability of the Nigerian Police to the maintenance of law and order in the society especially with the impending general elections. It is however sad to observe that the Nigerian Police is neither properly equipped nor well remunerated to effectively discharge its duties. The Church therefore calls on the Federal Government to see the proper funding of the Nigerian Police as a non-negotiable panacea to combat the soaring wave of crime. If we fail to create an enabling atmosphere for the right caliber of men in our police force, the wrong people may come in and the attendant compromises could be catastrophic.
The Church commends all the stakeholders in the education sector who have contributed to the relative stability in our tertiary institutions in recent times; and also commends state governments that have returned mission schools to their original proprietors. We hereby urge others to take a cue in this important effort towards the restoration of our deteriorating standard of education.
The Plight of Nigerian Pensioners
The Church is concerned about the ordeals that the pensioners are being subjected to in the seemingly unending verification exercises. The rigorous process has resulted in the death of some of these senior citizens who have spent the prime of their lives in the service of our fatherland.
The Church therefore calls on the government of the land to ensure that every hurdle against effective administration of the pension scheme in Nigeria is permanently eliminated.
The Niger Delta Region
The Church commends the recent efforts of the Federal Government to redress the long-standing injustices in the Niger Delta region. However, the Federal government should monitor the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission and other agencies such as the government and oil companies charged with development efforts so that essential amenities are available in abundance for the welfare of the of the people. We implore the youth to be mindful that lasting peace can be achieved without resorting to violence or kidnap of oil company workers
(Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria).