From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu

The Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN) has issued a strong call to action, urging governments at all levels to address the plight of Nigerian citizens and prioritise policies that improve their lives.

Following their 13th Annual Synod held in Ebonyi State, the MCN decried what they called “maladministration and a total abuse of democratic principles since independence.” They also criticised the lack of “people-oriented policies” particularly in the southeastern states.

The Church expressed deep concern about several national issues, including the depreciation of the Naira against foreign currencies, worsening insecurity with increasingly sophisticated tactics, and the decline and near-disappearance of industries.

In a communiqué signed by Bishop Rt Rev J Ken Egbochue and Sir Peter Onwe, the Church acknowledged President Bola Tinubu’s efforts in navigating the country’s economic challenges. However, they urged all levels of government to implement long-term solutions beyond “short-term palliatives.”

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The Synod proposed specific measures such as encouraging agricultural production for national food security, reviving moribund industries using technology to create youth employment, and intensifying efforts by security forces to end kidnapping, banditry, and other criminal activity.

The MCN commended Ebonyi State Governor, Francis Nwifuru, for his leadership and implementation of policies that benefit citizens. They praised his administration for creating a business-friendly environment and maintaining relative peace within the state.

While commending Governor Nwifuru, the Synod also called on other key political figures in Ngbo land to solidify the peace agreement between Ngbo in Ebonyi State and Agila in Benue State. This would finally end over 100 years of hostility between these neighbouring communities.

The Synod urged the federal government, Ebonyi and Benue state governments, and relevant agencies to: Implement budgetary provisions for the disputed area; Construct a road connecting the two communities; Establish a buffer zone with military barracks, educational institutions, a market, and other activities to promote lasting peace.

Finally, the MCN highlighted the importance of a technologically focused education curriculum. They urged the government to address over-reliance on government jobs and emulate developed nations with strong science and technology education. This, they believe, will lead Nigeria towards self-sufficiency through advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other industrial innovations.