The Prelate and Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Nzie Nsi Eke, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to shelve any plans to hike the price of petroleum products.
Any upward review of the price of fuel according to the cleric will only worsen the living condition of Nigerians who are already impoverished by the prevailing harsh economic condition of the country.
The Prelate who made the appeal in his Christmas and New Year message regretted that the hopes and expectations most Nigerians had at the beginning of 2021 had been dashed.
He also called for the immediate release of all political detainees and detained agitators of self-determination, while advocating dialogue with the agitators as a panacea to the rising tension in the country.
His words: “While we acknowledge the efforts of our governments at all levels to valiantly steer the wheel of governance despite prevailing challenges, we are constrained to admit that the year 2021 has been a tough one for Nigerians.
“The hopes and fervor that ushered in the year at the beginning began to wane soon after as citizens were confronted with more strenuous situations than what was experienced in the previous years.
” The issue of insecurity became more serious with the number of Nigerians sent to their early graves by terrorists in form of bandits increased significantly.
“The cost of living continued to increase astronomically that many families can no longer afford to feed twice a day.
“The fact that Nigeria remains the poverty capital of the world remains disturbing. Because of the perceived marginalization as alleged by many ethnic nationalities, the agitation for separation or at least the restructuring of the Nigerian polity has become more stringent.
“In view of these, I am calling on our leaders to give Nigerians the following gifts as we move into the new year:
“Rescind the alleged plan to increase fuel pump price. Nigerians cannot afford this extra burden. It is a known fact that every increase in fuel price results in a domino effect on the cost of all other goods and services.
” Reverse the cost of domestic gas which has increased by as much as 300% within the last year in many parts of Nigeria.
“Reduce the social tension among the various ethnic groups by releasing all political detainees and exploring dialogue and political solutions to all agitations.
“Pave way for the free and credible general election in 2023 by enacting enabling laws and making INEC truly independent.
“Resolutely address the seemingly intractable security challenges in various parts of the nation, especially in the Northwest and Northeast by classifying and designating bandits who operate in these areas as terrorists (their modus operandi portray them as such) thereby empowering the security agencies to handle them appropriately.”
The Prelate believed that “with the assurance of these gifts, Nigerians can enter the new year with hope and renewed confidence in their government’s ability to manage the country better.”
He called for more prayers for the country and urged Christians to use the season to empathize with the less privileged and destitute in society.
“So, as we celebrate Christmas and New Year, let us remember that our world is still hurting and people are still suffering different levels of deprivation, molestation, insecurity, natural disasters, hunger, malnutrition, discrimination, oppression, diseases, wars, and so on.
“These people need our gifts. our gifts of prayers, good thoughts, visitations, assistance, and show of love will go a long way in restoring hope and joy to them.”.
On the way forward, the Prelate said:”I enjoin us to remember that Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift God has given as a solution to the world’s problems and challenges. Allowing him into our hearts and situations will bring divine god’s intervention”.