Church of Nigeria

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD FROM SEPTEMBER 19TH-23RD, 2016, AT THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. FAITH, AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE

INTRODUCTION

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 and  Girls’  Organisations, met at the  Cathedral Church of St. Faith, Awka, Anambra State, from  19th-23rd September, 2016. One Hundred and Forty Bishops, One Hundred and Sixty clergymen  and  Eighty-Two  members of the  House  of  Laity  were present.  At the   opening  ceremony,  the  Standing  Committee  welcomed  His  Excellency, Chief  Dr.  Willie   M.  Obiano,  The  Executive  Governor  of Anambra  State,  the former Vice President,  Dr Alex Ekwueme as well  as the  Roman  Catholic Bishop of Awka, The Most Rev’d  Paulinus Okafor, who  delivered goodwill messages.

THE THEME OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE

The  theme  of the   Standing  Committee  was  Who  is on  the  LORD’s  side?’

(Exodus 32:26). At the  end, the  following Communique was  issued:

Given  that the  Church,  the  Nation  and  the  World   have  continued  to  grapple with   so   many  challenges   leading  to   increasing  attitude   of  compromise, corruption and  the  likes, which  separate us from  the  living God, the  Standing Committee reaffirms as well  as reminds the  Church and  all Christians:

  • To always  be  guided by  the  scriptural  stance  which   provides  that all true Christians  must take  a stand  with  God  in  response to the  question: who is on the LORD’s side? (Exodus 32.26)
  • That  standing   on  the   fence   or  between   opinions   is   as  good   as  not standing  with  God  which   carries  with  it  disastrous  consequences.  (1Kings  18.21)
  • That all who  have truly believed,  as they stand with. God, must speak out and engage the world as SALT and LIGHT against evil, darkness and championing the extension of Christ’s kingdom  on earth.

    CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME” CAMPAIGN

    The  Standing Committee commends the  Federal  Government on  her efforts towards  bringing  attitudinal   change   that  will   help   our  nation   progress positively,  and  calls  on  all  Nigerians,  particularly the  Church,  to  ensure the success  of this  initiative. We must restore queuing culture, healthy disposal  of waste, healthy driving culture, etc.

    COMMENDATION: ANAMBRA STATE

    In  appreciation  and   recognition  of  the   good   works  being   done   by  the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie  M.  Obiano, in faithful payment of salaries, agriculture, infrastructure and  economy  of the  state, the Standing  Committee  joyfully  commends  His  Excellency  and  calls  on  other States to take  a cue from this testimony.

    ANGLICAN COMMUNION

    As  parts   of  the   Anglican   Communion   continue  to   pursue   a  revisionist theological agenda and  negate the  place  of God Word written, the  Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion restates its position that Christian marriage is a lifelong union  between a man and a woman. That homosexuality and same sex relationships  are not  acceptable  alternative  or  lifestyle,  as  our  Church  is  a Bible  believing  Church.   In  many  parts  of the  Anglican  world,  apostasy  is  the new orthodoxy.  The Standing Committee believes  now  is the  right time to ask the  Anglican  world,  “who  is  on  the  LORD’s  side?”  Therefore  the  Standing Committee  resolutely and  unanimously supports  the  Primate  of all Nigeria  as he confronts ungodly and unbiblical developments within the Anglican Communion  and  calls  all  Anglican  Christians,  lay  and  ordained  to  a life  of repentance, holiness and  faithful  dedication to the  Lord Jesus  Christ.  No voice that speaks   in  anyway contrary to  this  faith  from  within  Nigeria or abroad speaks in the name  of this church.

    ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND HERDSMEN

    In spite of the  promise made  by the  President that the  herdsmen and  similar threats will be firmly and  decisively checkmated, the  continuing menace  and terrorizing  of vulnerable communities  have  remained  unchecked all around the country. Accordingly, the Federal Government is hereby urged, as a matter of urgency, to go a step further to disarm herdsmen, so that Nigeria can return to a state of peace.

    CONFLICTING JUDGMENTS

    The  Standing  Committee  is  disturbed by the  spate  of conflicting judgments from  courts of coordinate jurisdictions on cases  with similar facts and  issues. This issue has  lingered for such  a long time; it has  damaged the  image of the judiciary.  The  National Judicial  Council  (NJC)  is,  therefore,  called  upon  as  a matter  of  urgency  to  take   a  critical  look  at  these   anomalies  and   apply sanctions where applicable.

    ON MILITANCY AND NATIONAL ECONOMY

    That  our  national  economy is  being  adversely  affected  is  no longer  a secret. That oil production has nose-dived by 50% as a result of militancy in the Niger Delta can no longer be dismissed.  Consequently,  the  Standing Committee calls on  the   Federal  government  to   endeavour  to   review  and   strengthen  its strategies  in  addressing  this   deteriorating  situation  while   the   aggrieved groups  are enjoined to embrace dialogue  and lay down  their arms.

    THE VALUE OF NAIRA AND THE NATIONAL ECONOMY

    Considering  the  fact  that the  value  of the  Naira  against  the  US   Dollar  has continued to  decline, the  Standing Committee calls  on the  relevant agencies, namely:   CBN,   the   Ministry  of  Finance  and   the   Economic  Team   at  the Presidency  to  critically  reappraise  their  current  strategies  and  actions  for better results, so as to arrest the current economic  depression.

    THE ISSUE OF UNPAID SALARIES ACROSS THE NATION

    The  Standing  Committee  notes  with  displeasure  the  great  embarrassment caused   by  the  huge   proportions  of salaries,  gratuities  anpensions   owed across  the   country  and   the   unbearable  hardship  it  creates;  the   Standing Committee pleads  with the  Federal and  State Governments to as a matter of national emergency  attend to and clear the backlog of salary arrears.

    ON CASES OF COLLAPSED BUILDINGS

    The  Standing  Committee  has   observed  with  pain   the   use  of  substandard materials and the  non-enlistment of the services of professionals in the construction industry thus  leading to cases  of repeated collapsed buildings  in Nigeria  with  its  attendant loss  of innocent  lives.  All  the  relevant  authorities are  accordingly   called   upon   to   fully   implement   the   existing  laws   and regulations  pertaining to  construction  industries  in  order to  curb  this  ugly trend.

    ON TRANSPORT  AND AVIATION

    Undoubtedly, the  crisis in the  Aviation sector is  compounding the  economic situation  of our  nation.  The  attendant result is  that pressure  is  put on  our roads   with  its  consequential  increase  in  loss  of lives.  It  is  therefore  most urgent that attention be  given  to this  sector and  action be  expedited on the President’s promise of a new National Carrier. Opening our water ways for the movement of goods  and  services will be a great blessing to our Nation.

  • ECONOMIC RECESSION

    While  identifying  with  the  entire  citizens  of this  nation  on  the  challenges associated with  economic recession as is  being  witnessed  by all and  sundry, the  Standing  Committee  calls for  a careful  planning and  proper  management of individual and  national economy to be  able  to  come  out of these  difficult times.  The  Standing Committee  advises  the  Federal  Government not to  sell National  assets  which   are  difficult  to  replace,  but  to  appeal   to  Nigerians, individuals,  companies,  etc.  to pay  freewill  tax to the  Federal  Government,  to raise  funds.

    THE STATE OF THE FEDERAL ROADS

    Having  known   that good   and  accessible  roads   are  critical  for  agriculture, communications, commerce and  development, the  current deplorable state of roads  across the  nation has remained a matter of grave concern. The Standing Committee  hereby  calls   the   attention  of  the   Federal  Ministry  of  Works, Housing and  Power to give a fresh  attention to this matter most urgently.

    ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS

    The Standing Committee expresses with deep  concern the  plight of Christians who are suffering in the hands  of Islamic extremists in Nigeria and around the world,  e.g.  Kano,  Katsina,  Kubwa,  Zamfara,  etc.  This  increase  in  hostility towards  Christians  is  preventing  some  of  them   from   freely   engaging   in worship  and  Christian  ministry.  The  Church  of Nigeria respectfully asks  all Christians  to pray faithfully for God’s grace and  protection for those  who are persecuted and  calls  on  all governments to  ensure freedom of worship and where necessary,  the  protection of Christians who are under pressure around the world.

    CONCLUSION

    WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE? “That the  trial of your faith, being  much  more precious  than   gold  that perisheth,  though it  be  tried by  fire,  might  be  found unto  praise and  honour and  glory  at the  appearing  of Jesus  Christ.”  (lPeter

    1.7).   As a Church and  as  a nation, let us take  our stand in righteousness and integrity  so  that here and  hereafter,  we  would remain  on  the   LORD’s  side; Amen.

     

     

 

 

The Most Rev’d Nicholar D. Okoh,
Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

 

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