The 2022 2nd Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria has held at the Church’s National Secretariat, St Matthias House, Gudu District Abuja from September 12 to 16, 2022 with the theme: “Your Kingdom Come; Your Will be Done, taken from Matthew 6:10
The meeting, presided over by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, with all the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Nigeria and their wives, clergy, and Lay delegates from all the dioceses and mission areas of the Church of Nigeria as participants was addressed by some guests including the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Most Rev. Dan. Okoh, represented by Bishop Mike Akpan, Rear Admiral Segun Adebari, Prof. John Kennedy Opara, among others.
Buhari commended Primate Ndukuba for exceptional leadership and hosting the Committee and promised to continue to support the Church, especially in ensuring freedom of worship. Noting that the Nation needs God to direct her affairs, the President prayed and hoped that the will of God will be done in the coming general elections.
Delivering his goodwill message, the retired Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, noted that the nation is at the peak of political maneuverings. “Different people are gathering to outsmart others to grab power. If they succeed and are the right people, the nation will be blessed. But if they are the wrong people, the nation will be doomed.” Okoh, therefore urged the Church to rise up to the challenge of properly guiding the people in specific terms for voting in the coming elections, saying that the bishops and Church leaders should resist the temptation of being lured by those who are desperate for powers, obviously to serve themselves and not the people or God.
Addressing the convocation, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria described the Church of Nigeria as one Church that has made a great impact on the socio-economic development of Nigeria and a strong voice in the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN). He urged the Church to continue to stand up in righteousness and pray for the nation which at the time, is passing through a lot of security challenges, noting that the theme of the Standing Committee is apt. “When the Kingdom of God comes, His will be done, and we will live in peace,” he said.
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria condemned the insensitivity and display of impunity by political leaders, especially the two prominent big Parties. He said the Muslim-Muslim Ticket of the APC is a recipe for Islamisation, which, if imposed on the nation will yield to religious and social discrimination and open enforcement of Sharia law in some places. He, therefore, called for a change in the electoral pattern in the nation. He said: “The Big parties have taken the citizens for granted. There are other viable alternatives if proper and sincere negotiations are done. Citizens’ political action and engagement will deliver this country from this political ineptitude.
“As it is commonly said, ‘your Vote is your Right’, we encourage all the Nigerian electorate to come out en-masse and vote for the right candidates. Vote for Leaders and not Rulers, vote for integrity and character, and vote for those who have records of godly leadership and concern for the ordinary citizens of this country. Vote for Persons and not Parties. Any Politician who has been insensitive to the plight and sufferings, oppression, and death of the ordinary Nigerians must not be voted to lead this nation. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We desire a new Nigeria where every part of the political process to birth a New Nigeria”.
Also speaking, the Leader of the Bible Studies which served as sermons in the services of the Standing Committee, The Most Rev. Dr. Friday Imaekhai, the retired Archbishop of Bendel, regretted that there has been a gross deterioration and dilapidation in the morality and value of the society as most of the things that used to be considered as evil, appalling, shameful and disgraceful are now taken to be fashionable, and acceptable with impunity and flagrant disobedience to rules and decency today. “We are fast losing our humanity; the sanctity of life, the dignity of labor, and the godliness in us is eroding fast and seemingly untamable, particularly when we consider how insignificant life has become today with dead bodies everywhere”, Imaekhai said.
Giving an exposition on the theme of the Standing Committee, Archbishop Imaekhai said that the primary idea of the kingdom of God in the Bible is that of the rule of God established and acknowledged in the hearts of sinners by the powerful regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit.
The Standing Committee also featured a special memorial service for the recently passed on Queen Elizabeth II of England by the British Commission in Nigeria at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp Abuja on Thursday, 15th September 2022.
The next Standing Committee is scheduled to hold next February in the Diocese of Kubwa, F.C.T. Abuja.
BY PRINCE WILL IREOBA