The just-ended 2020 Synod of the Diocese of Evo, Anglican Communion, Rivers State, presided over by the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Innocent U. Ordu, JP, has strongly condemned corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the mindless killings in Southern Kaduna and the terrible cases of rape in the country.
The Synod, which held from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th August, 2020 at St Mathias Anglican Church, Atali District, Trinity Archdeaconry had the theme: “Stronger and Better Together.”
In a communique issued at the end of the Synod and signed by the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Ordu and the Chancellor, Barr Nlerum Amadi, the Delegates addressed various vices plaguing the country.
“Synod condemns the level of alleged corruption involving members of the Board and Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and key officers of the National Assembly in the finances of the commission and therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately freeze the accounts of NDDC and carry out a total overhaul of both the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC.”
“Synod expresses concern over the spate of insecurity in the country, particularly the unwarranted killings going on in the Christian-dominated Southern Kaduna, in Kaduna State; armed banditry and activities of Boko Haram in the Northern part of Nigeria; the menace of herdsmen, armed robbery and kidnappings in the entire country. ”
“Synod calls on the Federal Government to wake up from its deep slumber and end the bloodbath and restore the sanctity of life, and also the International Community not to keep quiet over the security situation in Nigeria.”
The Synod also commented on the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) as follows:
“Synod notes that for Nigeria, the pandemic has exposed the extent of neglect and decay of the healthcare delivery system and facilities, and the urgent need to overhaul the health sector.”
It described the cases of rape in Nigeria as alarming.
“Synod condemns the alarming trend of rape and sexual assault cases in the country and calls on governments at all levels to take stringent measures to check this menace. ”
“Synod commends the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and other Civil Society Organisations and the media for their roles in raising awareness against the incidence of rape and sexual assaults that have become the new epidemic in town.”
According to the communique, the Diocese of Evo Synod commended the Government of Rivers State under the leadership of His Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, for the concern and interest he demonstrated towards the health of Rivers people, especially in the wake of the Coronavirus infections (COVID–19), and the zeal he applied in the fight against the pandemic.
“Synod lauds the Governor for the numerous people-oriented projects particularly the completion and commissioning of the Rumuokwurusi – Elelenwo – Akpajo Road now renamed Justice Iche Ndu Road, and the on-going construction of flyover projects at Rebisi, Rumuokoro, Rumuogba, Rumuola and Oromeruezimgbu, and also for striving to give the city of Port Harcourt a brand new look. ”
“Synod draws the attention of His Excellency to the urgent need for yet another fly over at Rumuokwurusi/Elimgbu Junction (Tank Junction) as this will certainly reduce the level of suffering and enhance the flow of traffic in this part of East/West Road.”
“Synod joins the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike, to thank the Federal Government for the refund of the sum of over N78 billion to Rivers State being part of the money spent by the state on the construction and rehabilitation of some federal roads in Rivers State.”
Addressing the theme of the Synod, the delegates noted that the unity of all Christians is an essential and basic feature of practical biblical doctrine, postulating a basic understanding of human life and human purpose that directly affects our behaviour and attitudes to our fellow men.
The Synod therefore noted that envy, injustice, hypocrisy, tribalism, nepotism, ethnicity, unforgiving spirits and such vices are things that create disunity in the body of Christ and calls on the body of Christ to eschew such vices.”
According to the communique, the Synod believes that things like church and traditions, differing biblical interpretations, parochial concerns, sentiments and interests of a local congregation stand in the way of unity.
It noted specifically that the Church in Nigeria is not together and that is why it is exposed to all forms of preying in the country and calls on them to be united.
It Challenged Churches to get acquainted with media technologies which are beneficial for the advancement of the gospel to avoid the kind of adverse spiritual effects of not gathering in one place as being experienced presently as a result of COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.
It affirmed that unity is good for all the people, and particularly the people of God and believes the biblical injunction and universal truth that as a people, particularly children of God, we are stronger and better together. (Psalms 133).
The Synod acknowledged that the best group is not the one that is made up of perfect friends, brothers, sisters and relatives but one in which each individual member learns to live with the imperfections of others and yet admire other persons good qualities.
“Synod believes that the Church which Christ built and continues to build is sure to last, and being believers who are the building blocks, they must let God shape them and assign them places in the structure with a view to their becoming part of the strong solid edifice”.
It acknowledged mission as the focus of the church but calls on it to have vision and mission for economic viability and sustainability.
The Evo Synod finally noted that the rise of social media has opened new avenues for evangelism and stressed the need for the church to imbibe digital competences.”
The Synod was held under all COVID-19 preventive measures and protocols. Majority of Synod delegates participated through Zoom.