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Easter: Church wants Buhari to dialogue with agitators

FG declares public holidays to mark Xmas, New Year

By Augustine Anioke, Abakaliki

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The Prelate of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Most Rev Nzie Nsi Eke has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to objectively look into the various ethnic agitations from different parts of the country with the aim of dousing them through objective and sincere dialogue and positive engagement.

Rev Eke, who made the call in his Easter Message to Nigerians charged President Muhammadu Buhari to also ensure a smooth political transition next year through fair credible and transparent elections that are devoid of violence and rancor.

He also urged Mr Buhari to do all within his power to end the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike so as to safeguard the future of the youths

He lamented the state of insecurity in the country adding that Nigerians are no longer safe anywhere.

The Cleric expressed worry over the poor state of the country’s economy which has led to high cost of virtually every commodity in the market and wondered how the masses are coping.

Rev Eke, however, appealed to Nigerians not to lose hope despite the seeming worsening socio-political situation of the country.

According to him, no matter how far the situation has degraded or deteriorated, there is still hope for the nation.

He said:”For some years now, the nation has been praying and hoping for better days but this hope keep turning out to be an illusion. Instead of getting better, the Nigerian social and political situations are getting worse by the day.

Easter: Church wants Buhari to dialogue with agitators

” I wonder how Nigerians are surviving the prevailing high cost of living. All the basic goods and services which people have taken for granted as being parts of life are almost out of reach because of their unaffordable costs.

“Nigerians are lamenting because they can no longer afford the cost of petrol, kerosene, diesel, domestic gas, rice, beans, yam, garri, meat, fish, house rent, school fees, transportation, vehicles, clothing, electrical appliances, etc.

“Added to this state of pain is the deteriorating security situation in the country. To say the least, Nigerians are no longer safe anywhere within the nation due to the seemingly intractable activities of bandits who operate as terrorists, hoodlums, kidnappers, armed robbers, militant agitators and religious extremists.

“As we remember and try to empathize with the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, we a re constrained to admit that Nigeria is in pains and reproach at this time. The people are hurting.

‘Our children in higher institutions are at home (with their future being mortgaged) because of perennial industrial actions by their lecturers. The ethnic tension in the country is still pervading with some parts of the South East being shut down frequently with people forced to stay at home or go out for their legitimate businesses at the risk of their live and properties”.

He charged Nigerians to keep to keep praying, trust God and support all the good efforts of governments.

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“We also must not be afraid to speak out against injustice, bad government and the evils of the society. The nation must come back to righteousness and the ways of God.

“As God sent angels to roll away the stone that stood at the entrance of the sepulcher for Jesus to triumphantly emerge, I hereby appeal to our governments at all levels to institute policies that will roll away the stones of reproach, suffering and pains from Nigerians.

“There needs to be a redoubled effort in the fight against banditry, terrorism and insecurity in general. I encourage the federal government to boldly designate banditry as terrorism as their modus operandi classifies them as such.

“This will give the military the leverage and better platform to engage them with full force. I also ask the federal government to better equip and motivate our soldiers who are fighting gallantly to keep us safe and secure.

‘I am also compelled to raise the issue of the Nigerian economy which seem to be comatose and not responding to all government efforts to resurrect it.

‘This has led to high inflation, weakened currency, high cost of living, unmanageable debt profile, 33% unemployment rate (accord ing to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics) and the unenviable position of our dear nation as the poverty capital of the world.

“With this in mind, I urge our government to put in more efforts and think out more ideas to lift Nigeria from this doldrums. Nigeri ans have made so many sacrifices over the years and the time has come for them to experience some relief.

“In the same vein, I call on the government to urgently tackle all the pertinent issues that are keeping the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU ) from going back to classes in order to safeguard the future of our youths.

“As the nation gradually enters into another electioneering season, it also lies with the President to ensure a smooth political transition through fair, credible and transparent elections that are devoid of violence and rancor”

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