How To Develop Nigeria, By Cleric
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari as well as Nigerians on the occasion of the nation’s 61st independence anniversary.
In commemorating Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, PFN thanked God for faithfully watching over the nation in the last six decades and declared that God’s plan and promises concerning Nigeria would be fulfilled.
This is even as the General Superintendent, Holy Spirit Mission (Happy Family Centre), Bishop Charles Ighele, has declared that the only reason for Nigerians to celebrate was because the country still remains united, lamenting that Nigeria was lagging behind its peers in terms of development.
The Christian body appealed to Nigerians to do away with strife, hate, bigotry and all forms of bitterness, urging everyone to forgive one another, and come together to seek God’s face for forgiveness for the wanton waste of lives and shedding of blood of the innocent.
It also enjoined Nigerians to embrace the spirit of brotherhood and pursue peace with one another.
In a statement signed by the National President, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, PFN said: “As we celebrate another anniversary as a nation, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria is concerned that the country is still beset by a lot of foundational issues, which has led to increased agitation from different quarters, questioning the basis of our nationhood and continued existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity. PFN calls on the Federal Government to hearken to the calls for a restructuring of the country. The right to protest and peaceful agitation are hallmarks of the democratic society. It must not be misconstrued and mismanaged, lest it degenerates into something more sinister and threatening to the continued existence of Nigeria as one entity. We hold the view that a holistic restructuring exercise to address the fault lines at the root of the tension in the country will go far in engendering long-lasting peace and unity.”
In restating its position that the time has come for the government to kick-start the process of generating a new Constitution for Nigeria, PFN said it still holds firmly the view that the 1999 Constitution, even with the amendments made, has not served Nigerians well, because its premise and foundational principles are faulty, reason for which it has only served to foster an atmosphere of discontent and agitation. It called on the Federal Government to summon the political will to start the process that will birth a new constitution, which Nigerians can boldly lay claim to as a product of “We, the people of Nigeria.”
The statement added: “We are concerned at the level of insecurity and rise in heinous crimes in different parts of Nigeria. We call on the Federal Government and the security agencies to step up the fight against terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, attacks by herdsmen, etc. to ensure that evil does not continue to thrive; so that Nigerians are able to live in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity and go after their legitimate businesses anywhere in the country with fear of molestations or assault. The time has come for a consideration of the idea of state police to beef up the security architecture of the country.
“The PFN acknowledges the efforts by the Federal Government in the development of infrastructure. We commend the government on the strides made in the revival of rail for transportation with the commissioning of Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos- Kano lines, as well as the plan to extend railway to other parts of the country. We appreciate the efforts that have been put into major road construction works like the Second Niger Bridge, Bonny-Bodo Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and others.”
In his independence message to Nigerians, Ighele expressed sadness that nations like Singapore and South Korea that Nigeria at a time was ahead of has surpassed her in terms of development.
“We have built some bridges like the Third Mainland; we have built
Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory and other infrastructures. But we should know that infrastructure without human development and proper management means nothing at all. It is a waste of time.
“This is why places like Ajaokuta plant, Delta steel, refineries and other infrastructure could not work because there is lack of human capital and needed discipline. What we have is infrastructural decay with no development,” he said.
He called on the President, governors, clergies and other stakeholders to concentrate on nation building and think less of what they could acquire.
On the controversy as to where the next President should come from, the cleric advised all the agitators to ponder on the golden rule that says that “do unto others, what you will like them to do unto you.”