Bishop Ezeokafor of Awka Dioceses Speaks on State of the Nation, Anambra Governorship and Igbo Presidency, as he Felicitate with Christians
News Report by Ebuka Onyekwelu
The Bishop of Awka Dioceses Most Rt. Rev. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor has wished Christians a most joyous celebration, even as he also called on Nigerians to celebrate this year’s Christmas with discretion, considering the realities of the time. The Bishop made this call yesterday December 24th, 2020 during a media parley at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with select media practitioners, in Awka, the Anambra state capital. Bishop Ezeokafor also commented on various issues of national importance, as well as the quest for Igbo presidency and the 2021 Anambra state governorship election, which is now less than one year away.
In his opening remarks, His Lordship Bishop Ezeokafor reiterated that we should be thankful to God, despite how this year has been for many people around the world. “We have so many things to thank God for”, he said. Speaking on Christmas and its essence, the Bishop said, “as we are approaching Christmas, it is better we go back to understand why… we know very well that Christmas came up as a result of our first parents not being able to meet up with the standard God set for them”. In summary, Bishop Ezeokafor declared that “what we are celebrating is love… love of God…you cannot talk of loving God without loving your neighbor”. Speaking further, the Bishop admonished that people should show love and share what they have with others in this spirit of love. He also counseled that people should not behave as if this is the last Christmas so that when they return to their businesses next year, they do not struggle because of unwarranted expenses incurred during this season. According to the Bishop, “Whatever you are doing, make sure you arrange things in a way that you will still stand in the New Year. Some may be spending money as if they are minting it. This is not the last Christmas. The New Year will come with its own challenges”. Commenting on the COVID-19 pandemic, His Lordship noted that people should be careful to observe professional medical advice on safety. In his words, “Observe COVID-19 protocols, you do not lose anything by being careful”.
On the state of the nation, Bishop Ezeokafor spoke extensively on the core problematic facing Nigeria. Speaking on the economy and the ongoing economic recession, he averred that Nigeria’s mono economy is chiefly responsible for the present economic challenges facing the country. According to the Bishop, with the various innovations going on around the world where Nigeria’s mainstay of economy which is crude oil is heading to becoming irrelevant, Nigeria should not let this development meet it by surprise. “By now, this country should be planning alternative. Nigeria as a country must look for alternative, as a nation, we have to be very watchful”, he said. Then on insecurity, “we should be more proactive”, Bishop Ezeokafor said. While urging government to step up its approach to security of lives and properties, he wondered why bandits or armed gang can kidnap students in large number from Chibok, to Dapchi and now Kankara so seamlessly. “I do not see why three hundred kids can be moved and nobody sees them… we are making mockery of ourselves”.
Bishop Ezeokafor also spoke on corruption and linked corruption in Nigeria to the #EndSars campaign. “Corruption is one of the things that gave rise to endsars”. He also called on those in power to deliberately carry the youths along; even as he noted that many of the people currently occupying leadership positions in Nigeria today have nothing at all to offer, as they simply do not have the solution this generation requires. In the words of the Bishop, “Every generation, God has given something special and it is that generation that will provide solution to their problems. Those in power must do something to raise the standard of living of young people”.
Reacting to the question on the call for Igbo President, Bishop Ezeokafor said that “Igbo President is a serious demand. For justice and equity, Igbo man should be president. It is not a privilege”. But for the coming governorship election in Anambra state, Bishop Ezeokafor barred it all on what he thinks Anambra state needs from the next governor, even as he maintained that Anambra state needs to develop. “We need to develop this state. We need certain basic things. The roads are getting bad. The street lights are wonderful… we want somebody who will be available to see things by himself. We are praying that the tempo of development in Anambra State should be doubled. We want somebody who will devote his time to Anambra state and improve on what has been”, the Bishop said.
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