BY DANIEL ABIA
The Archbishop, Metropolitan, and Primate of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba, has called on the federal government to commence a process of providing a fresh civilian-oriented Constitution for Nigerians rather than amending the one formulated by the military in 1999.
The primate said Nigeria needs a new civilian and democratic constitution made by the sovereign representation of the ethnic nationalities in order to address the fundamental issues that have hampered national growth, unity, and prosperity.
“While we commend the National Assembly for their efforts to review the present constitution, we are convinced that what we need is a totally civilian constitution made by a sovereign representation of the ethnic nationalities of this country.
“This will address the fundamental issue of unity and prosperous nation. We need new citizens- made the national constitution and not the amendment of a military-formulated constitution.”
Most Rev Ndukuba also said there was a need for courageous, empathic, and caring leaders to rise over Nigeria to steer its affairs.
He cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari on the planned idea of removing fuel subsidy, noting that such a policy would only have a negative implication on the economy of average Nigerians. Such demand, he said, has become imperative because of the excruciating economic hardship caused by unfriendly economic policies, and endemic corruption that has destroyed all public institutions.
“The removal of subsidies at this time would portend untold hardship for millions of Nigerians especially those in the middle and low-income brackets. It will surely drive up the cost of fuel, which will lead to an increase in transportation fares, increased inflation rates, reduced purchasing power, and a surge in poverty.”
Ndukuba also advised against further borrowing. He urged the Federal Government to heed the advice by the Monetary Policy Committee to seek alternative, more viable, and efficient infrastructure-financing sources that will help ease the expenditure burden on the county.
Earlier in his speech, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike urged the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion to use its numerical strength to determine the enthronement of good political leadership in Nigeria.
The Governor said while the church cannot jettison the place of prayers, it should be combined with actual encouragement of the members to be involved in all political processes that include voting and being voted for.
Governor Wike gave the charge at the formal opening of the February Meetings of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Standing Committee of the Mothers’ Union Executive at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Rumuobiokani of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Wednesday.
He stated that the Church bears divine obligation for such good leadership over Nigeria to be realized, which is through active and effective engagement in the nation’s political process.
“There are churches that claim tens of millions of registered members with branches everywhere, yet these numbers are not available in votes during crucial national elections.
“If the Church doesn’t like what is happening to Nigeria; the ravaging insecurity, the lack of meaningful development; the mass poverty; the unending economic pains on ordinary Nigerians; the recurring violent conflicts and recriminations; the violence on women and children; the discrimination and widespread social, economic and political injustices and the general lack of hope and direction; it must be actively involved in effecting changes and transformation”