Presbyterian Church tasks Buhari on confab report, others



TO enhance true federalism and the country’s secular status, among others, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference as basis for peaceful co-existence among the ethnic nationalities.

In a joint communiqué by the Prelate and Moderator of the church’s General Assembly Executive Committee (GAEC), Most Rev. Emele Uka, and Principal Clerk, Rev. Eseme William, the church congratulated President Buhari and his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for their victory at the 2015 elections, and former President Goodluck Jonathan for ensuring a peaceful transition.

The communiqué, issued at the weekend after its first bi-annual meeting in Aba, Abia State, outlined an eight-point agenda for the new government, among them the revitalisation of existing refineries and formulation of new policies to encourage the building of new ones.

This, it stressed, would guarantee local refining and adequate supply of products at affordable prices, which in turn would obviate importation of refined petroleum products and the attendant payment of subsidies.

Others include a ban on external borrowing to curb the rising national debt, reduction of cost of governance, particularly legislators’ jumbo pay, which contrasts sharply with the declining oil revenue, high level poverty, dearth of developmental projects and infrastructure.

Equally, the power sector should be overhauled to guarantee stable electricity supply, the education sector revitalised, employment generation enhanced and the war against corruption strengthened, the church advised.

In another statement by its Director of Information and Public Affairs, Rev. Kalu Eme, the church declared as unacceptable reports of non-payment of salaries and pensions by most states of the federation.

It expressed concern that many of them could not even account for their monthly receipts from the Federation Account in terms of provision of basic social amenities.

Against this background, it urged the National Assembly to enact a law prioritising the payment of pensions and salaries by all levels of government.

On the renewed attacks by the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the aftermath of the massive onslaught by the military coalition, the church urged Buhari to further strengthen the coalition, intelligence gathering supply of arms and ammunition for total victory.

The Presbyterian Church also urged government to take adequate steps to protect the lives and property of farming communities in against the recurring attacks by nomads, while the relevant law enforcement agencies should arrest and prosecute suspects in the orgy of violence.

It further called for the provision of ranches and grazing pastures for the cattle industry as a lasting solution to the crisis between herdsmen and farmers.

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