Former Vice Chancellor, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Professor Dapo Asaju has called on Christians in Nigeria not to lose hope in the country, assuring that God would trouble those troubling the nation.
Asaju, was a guest speaker at the Second Session of the Fourth Synod of the Diocese of Igbomina West, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion held between 18th and 20th June at the St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Sanmora, Irepodun Local Government area of Kwara State.
According to the Bishop, the theme of the event, “We shall rise and stand firm” taken from Psalm 20:7-8 was very relevant to the contemporary Nigerian society.
The Bishop Theologian of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Asaju, described the biblical King David as one very brave, courageous and dedicated person to God’s kingdom. “David fought relentlessly against the enemies of Israel and God gave him victory in most cases except when the people deviated from the path of righteousness,” he said.
Stating further, Asaju encouraged Nigerians not to lose hope in the Nigerian project. “God would raise our own David to trouble our troublers and deal decisively with the cankerworms and scavengers in our society, who are hell-bent in destroying Nigeria and Nigerians,” he said, warning Nigerians to run away from sin and trust in the Lord.
The cleric however stressed the urgent need for Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or religion, to unite to bring Nigeria back to her lost glory. He also called for a conscious effort to seek the Lord’s face in putting an end to the seemingly insurmountable problems confronting the nation and concluded that there is hope for the country.
The Diocesan and President of Synod, the Rt. Revd Olajide Adebayo, in his charge expressed his profound appreciation to all those who have contributed in one way or the other to the growth and development of the Diocese.
The Diocesan Bishop particularly appreciated Dr. Ephraim Ademowo, Dean Emeritus of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. M.O. Akinyemi, retired Archbishop of Kwara Province and the Pioneer Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop J.O. Akinola and his wife, friends, families, mission partners and supporters of the Diocese.
On the Synod theme- We rise and stand firm, the Bishop said, “In life, there are always reasons, situations and circumstances that challenge or try our tenacity, strength or faith. Even the acclaimed strong and mighty have their moments of trials, tribulations and temptations, such occasions call for leaning on or trusting in powers, ideas, conventions or personalities, he said.
He went further to infer that, “When one is in dire straight or in an urgent need for salvation, safety or solutions, the general tendency is to seek quick solutions and the source we consult depends on what we believe or in whom we trust.
“Usually Christians and people of other faiths will be quick to conclude that we must trust in God and indeed that is the most reasonable thing to do and the wisest action to take,” he said.
The Bishop urges all Christians to put their trust and hope in the Lord so as to survive famines and droughts and are able to stand even when they fall. They should trust in the name of the Lord which conveys the power of God to heal, to save to protect and to deliver.
He however lamented that in our country today, there are threats of invasion and enslavement, all machinery of government have been placed at the disposal of certain sectors of the country and there is palpable fear all over.
Adebayo however admonishes that, “We are not to be scared of their horses and chariots but this is the time to remember the name of the Lord our God and they shall collapse and fall while we shall rise and stand firm.”
Meanwhile, the Synod called for a brand new constitution for Nigeria as no amendment of the existing 1999 Military Constitution could solve the various problems confronting the country.
The Synod also calls for a wholesale restructuring of Nigeria to reflect a true Federal System and with the ultimate aim of granting each state or region the autonomy and control over its resources while paying a certain percentage of their income to the Federal Government.
The Synod suggests that in the alternative, the nation should adopt 1963 Republican constitution. It also stresses the need for the total autonomy of the Legislature and the Judiciary at both the Federal and State levels.
On the status of Local Governments, the Synod agrees that they be allowed to function as a separate and free tier of government and not tied to the apron strings of state governments.
Meanwhile, on the situation of the power sector, the Synod called for the unbundling of the sector as was done to the telecommunication industry to make it more efficient.
It also calls for the insertion of a clause in the proposed country’s new constitution allowing any unit that desires self-determination to do so through constitutional means.
On security, the Synod calls for immediate declaration of Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and bandits as terrorists. To further boost security at state and local government levels, the Synod calls for the urgent need to establish state police and other community based vigilance groups.
In addition, the Synod calls for the imposition of life jail for the offence at kidnapping not involving termination of life while any kidnapping incident involving death should attract death sentence.
As part of efforts to stem the rampant farmers/herders clash, the synod opines that the anachronistic system of open grazing should be banned and replaced by animal ranching in willing states.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, the Synod calls for the strengthening of the health workers to help and encourage them to put in their best in combating the global menace while calling for free testing and treatment for the disease by citizens in order to ignite mass participation.
The Synod calls for the creation of an Igbomina State as well as separate Oro Local Government as a means of jump starting the development of the areas and bring governance closer to the people.
The Synod says as part at efforts to curtail the importation of COVID-19 rapid tests kits should be provided to take care of inbound passenger, especially those arriving from pandemic places like India and South America.
The Synod also stressed the urgent need to increase surveillance at the country’s borders and call on port health workers to be upright and desist from making money at the risk of the lives of citizens.
On COVID-19 vaccinations, the Synod regrets that the anti COVID-19 vaccination has not reached the rural areas as concentration has been on the urban centres and calls for immediate arrangement to vaccinate citizens residing in the country side.
The Synod advises members at the Diocese as well as other members of the society to continue to adhere to the laid down non-pharmaceutical protocols of COVID-19 including regular hand washing, wearing of nose masks, the use of hand sanitizers and maintenance of social distance as a way of curbing the spread of the pandemic.
On Kwara State, the Synod commended Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq for the restoration at the prompt payment of workers’ salary and the upgrade of infrastructure in Ilorin, the state capital.
The Synod calls for the long overdue overhaul of infrastructural facilities in Igbomina West including the renovation of hospital facilities, posting of resident doctors and nurses and the rehabilitation of Iludun Oro, Oke-Ola-Oro Road as well as Igbonla – Ajasse Ipo roads.
The Synod regrets the reality that there is no sign of any concrete projects by the Irepodun Local Government in the areas comprising the Diocese of Igbomina West and calls on the Kwara State Government to allow Federal Government allocations to go to the Local Governments directly as part of efforts to ensure Local Government autonomy.
Some of the dignitaries at the event include H.R.M. the Eleju of Eju land, Oba Idowu Ajiboye and his wife, the Archbishop of Kwara Province, the Most Revd Israel Afolabi Amoo, The Bishop of Jebba, the Rt. Revd Yinka Aderogba among others.