By Ralph Madugu
The Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF), an interdenominational organization has ended its 46th Annual General Conference as well as the 24th Anniversary the Africa Vision Tract House Society (AVTHS) of the Fellowship with a reminder to Christians that the kingdom of God is a treasure which every Christian must guard tenaciously in order not to lose it hence its beauty and the glory cannot be compared with the “ashes and transient nature of the kingdoms of this world God’s kingdom.”
In a communique signed by the NCGF National President, Prof. Chukwuenweniwe Eboka, and Pastor Onyenachi Nwaegeruo, General Secretary, issued at the end of the conference held in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, during which participation was both virtual and physical, with the theme “The Kingdoms Of This World Are Become The Kingdoms Of Our Lord, And Of His Christ” taken from Revelation 11:15, the Conference urged Christians to adopt lifestyle evangelism (Godly living) in order to win souls for Christ in their immediate environments stressing the need for unity in the Body of Christ, especially among leaders of various denominations.
The 3-day meeting observed the current state of the Nigerian economy and enjoined Christians to prayerfully consider multiple streams of income and strategies for wealth creation.
On politics and governance, the NCGF said it took a critical look at the state of the nation and expressed deep concern about Nigeria’s ranking as the 3rd worst-governed country globally, with a rating of 102nd out of 104 countries of the world by the Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) report released in April, 2021.
It called on the Federal Government to urgently address the high rate of poverty, infrastructure decay, poor funding of tertiary health and educational institutions, unemployment and under-employment plaguing the country.
They called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to demonstrate transparency and fairness in the electoral process, especially in the area of creation of polling units, conduct of the continuous voters’ registration exercise and the issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
They however faulted the position of the National Assembly as contained in the recently passed Electoral Bill 2021, which attempts to deny INEC of the legal power to transmit results of elections electronically which stripped INEC of its independence guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and/or compromise the independence of the country’s electoral umpire.
“The Conference urged INEC to assert its independence as guaranteed under Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Third Schedule of the same Constitution, which is the grundnorm; and to be steadfast, undaunted and undeterred in its effort at guaranteeing free, fair and credible elections for the country.”
NCGF also faulted the position of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), to the effect that INEC lacks the capacity to transmit election results electronically, describing it as misleading and contradictory.
While advocating for active participation by Christians at all levels in the political process to enthrone righteousness in political leadership, the NCGF stated that it is in line with the Holy Scriptures as contained in Proverbs 29:2 and Matthew 5:13-15.
On insecurity, the conference said it condemned in strong terms, the spate of insecurity in the country that has resulted in the wanton killing of innocent Nigerians with impunity, persecution and genocide against Christians, especially in Northern Nigeria, by armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits, Boko Haram and other terrorists.
NCGF said it viewed with displeasure what it termed “the deliberate failure of the security agencies” to arrest and prosecute the culprits of these heinous crimes even when their identities are known.
It said “The Christian organization viewed these unwholesome developments as a deliberate attempt by the perpetrators to carry out ethnic and religious cleansing and impose the Islamic religion on Nigeria and Nigerians.
“The Conference therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to respect, uphold and enforce the constitutional provision of secularity of the Nigerian State, and to bring to an end the mindless killing of Nigerians which has adversely affected the economy of the Nation.”
With specific reference, the Conference called on the Federal Government to see to the immediate release of all Nigerians in the captivity of armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits, Boko Haram and other terrorists especially Leah Sharibu who has been held in the captivity of the Boko Haram terrorists since February 2018, on account of her refusal to deny her Christian faith and embrace Islam.
While praying for a greater Nigeria, the conference enjoined Christians and Nigerians at large to have faith in God and continue to remain resilient in their hope for a greater Nigeria where peace, justice and prosperity shall reign.
The Conference which featured intercessory prayers for the nation; inspiring expositions from the Bible, robust discussions on matters of national interest, including a political summit which focused on Politics and Governance in a New Nigeria: The Strategic Role of the Church. The conference also provided a forum for exhilarating praise and worship session. It brought together Christians from across Nigeria including ministers of the Gospel, missionaries, development experts, political activists and investment experts among whom were the former Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Boni Haruna, Bro. Gbile Akanni, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, Rev. Dr. Gideon Para-Mallam, Mr. Mike Itegboje and Prof. Vincent Anigbogu among other participants.