By Jide Afolabi, Jos
The Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, has held its 66th General Church Council, GCC, and expressed concerns over the unabated insecurity, infrastructural deficit and demanded the immediate release of all victims of Boko Haram victims, and detained Adara community leaders.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the General Church Council meeting held at the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, headquarters in Jos, Plateau state capital between April 8-12, 2019 signed by its President, Rev Stephen Panya Baba and General Secretary, Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jnr.
The Council deliberated on many key issues affecting the Church, the Nigerian state and the global community including insecurity and wave of criminality; social justice and equity; and infrastructural decay and need for entrepreneurship among others.
In the Communique, “The Council views with serious concern the unabated attacks of armed herdsmen across the country, especially in the Middle-belt and Northern States of Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Katsina, Zamfara, Taraba and Adamawa as they continue to destroy lives, farms, and properties of innocent members of their host communities.”
It condemned what it termed ‘continued attacks’ by herdsmen on Adara Christian communities in Kajuru LGA of Kaduna state and the recalcitrant attitude of the government towards the internally displaced persons. The body demanded the immediate release of the Adara leaders.
The GCC condemned, “the continuous spate of banditry in Northern Nigeria, kidnappings across the country, and the apparent helplessness of the Nigerian security agencies to rescue the victims as such, resulting in huge sums of money being paid as ransom to the kidnappers, thereby further exacerbating the poor financial conditions of the victims and their family members. ECWA, therefore, calls on the Federal Government and all security outfits to take urgent and definite steps to tackle this heinous crime in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), guaranteeing the security of lives and property of all citizens.”
The Council, however, warned that failure on the part of Government to protect the people and serve justice will spur the people to self-defense which may eventually lead to anarchy.
“The Council frowns at the failure of the Federal Government to secure the release of the only Christian girl Leah Sharibu who is an ECWA member that was abducted by Boko Haram amongst many female students of Government Secondary School, Dapchi in their hostel and were all later released after negotiation by the Federal Government except Leah because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. The Council is worried that despite several promises by the Government, Leah Sharibu, Alice Loksha, a Christian nurse doing humanitarian service and other Chibok girls earlier abducted have not been released. ECWA is again using this medium to call on the Federal Government to apply the same negotiation mechanism used to free the other girls to ensure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu, Alice Loksha and the other remaining Chibok girls to their parents.”
The Church also frowns at continuous abduction of young Christian girls in Northern Nigeria. It, however, commended the kidnapped Leah Sharibu and her parent for their resilience, doggedness and upholding the faith and demanded the immediate release of all kidnapped girls including the remaining Chibok girls.
It also urged the government to urgently intervene on the dearth of infrastructures in the nation. The Council stated that the roads have become a nightmare and a death trap. “On the other hand, most of the nation’s hospitals have been turned into mere consulting centres with wrong diagnosis due to dilapidated equipment leading to thousands of unavoidable deaths on a daily basis. The Council is also saddened by the growing brain drain in the health sector due to the exodus of sound Nigerian medical doctors and other medical personnel to other countries for greener pastures due to the unimpressive situation of the nation’s hospitals.”
“ECWA reiterates the need for entrepreneurship by the government, the Church, other religious bodies and the business community. The Council laments that many young people have no job and equally many public servants retire early and thereafter remain unproductive. These idle persons, especially the young ones, are easily available to be recruited for crime and other anti-social activities. There is, therefore, the need to promote entrepreneurship as a means of engaging many capable minds and hands in positive skills and so contribute collectively to nation-building. In this regard, the Council continually encourage the faithful and indeed the entire citizenry to discover and exploit opportunities, and assemble resources in order to create value and wealth. This, no doubt, it noted would make it possible for the Church to build an economy that is truly at the service of humankind. Council equally urged the business community to invest not just for profit but also to offer some services to make a positive impact on the society, especially the poor and vulnerable groups.”
ECWA commended the visit of the United States of America Ag. Ambassador to Nigeria Hon. David J. Young and the Ambassador for his peace-building efforts across Nigeria.
The Church reiterated its resolve to continue to focus on, “its core values of revival, evangelism/missions and holistic ministry as means of reaching out to the spiritual and physical needs of humanity.”
“The GCC received with great joy the progress made so far by ECWA Television in reaching about 103 nations of the world with the Gospel and prayed for its sustenance.” The communique stated.
Meanwhile, the new ECWA Constitution and Bye-Laws which took effect from April 1, 2019, was formally presented and dedicated for use by the Council during the GCC.
The 66th General Church Council successfully elected a new member of the ECWA Board of Trustees in the person of Elder Moses Yusuf Dembo and approved the creation of an additional District Church Council (DCC) to be known as Yamel- East DCC. It also approved the change of name of Tsiga DCC to Katsina South DCC.
The Church has also resolved to build historic monuments in strategic mission fields, especially in Patigi, Bida, and Girku.
The 66th General Council meeting had in attendance, the ECWA Executive members, members of ECWA Board of Trustees, Chairmen, Secretaries, and Delegates of all the 84 District Church Councils (DCCs), Directors of the various ECWA Departments and Chief Executive Officers of ECWA Strategic Business units among others.
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