THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA
(ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD AT THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. STEPHEN OKE-ALUKO ONDO FROM TUESDAY 12th SEPT. TO FRIDAY 15th SEPT.2000
The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) met at Saint Stephen s Cathedral, Ondo, State on 12th 15th
September, 2000, on the theme: BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD (James 1:22). Guided by the Holy Spirit, the meeting, presided over by His Grace
the Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola DD. Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), and attended by the
Dean, Archbishops, Bishops, and representatives of the Clergy and Laity of every Diocese, adopted the following communiqué:
1. THEME OF THE MEETING:
In line with the theme of the Meeting Be ye Doers of the Word , the Meeting enjoins all Christians, whatsoever their positions in life, to live
a life of practical Christianity, continually studying the Holy Bible, listening to Christian teaching, and putting to practice in their everyday
lives what they read and learn. The Meeting urges all Nigerians to live a life of obedience to God, doing what the LORD would want them
to do, and saying what he would have them say.
On its part, the Church should become more involved in the process of poverty alleviation initiated by Government, while at the same time stepping
up its role as a caring Ministry and calling upon all Christians to participate in offering assistance to deprived members of the society.
2. VISION OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA:
The Meeting adopted strategies for the effective implementation of the Vision of the Church of Nigeria fashioned out at its meeting in Abuja
in March 2000 and reviewed and adopted at its meeting in Owerri in June 2000.
The Meeting set up 12 committees charged with the responsibility of moving the Church forward in the 21st Century to play a leading
role in and be more relevant to the aspirations of the Nigerian nation and people.
3. STATE OF THE NATION:
3.1 Corruption in Public Life
The Meeting noted with distress media reports that the non-governmental organisation, Transparency International, in a report released in Berlin
a week earlier, after a study of 90 nations, once again ranked Nigeria as the most corrupt country in the world. Accordingly, the Meeting appealed
to the Federal Government to take urgent action to set its anti-corruption machinery into motion without further delay.
Furthermore, the Church of Nigeria hereby appeals to all Christian organisations to constitute themselves as the true conscience of the nation
by positively offering advice to all tiers of government towards the practical emergence of National Re-birth and the effective implementation
of the anti-corruption Law.
Gravely concerned over the overall decline in educational standards, the Meeting received with hope news that a National Stakeholders Consultation
on Education was held in Abuja on August 30 and 31, 2000 to propose strategies for pulling the country out of the abyss. In this regard,
the Meeting calls on Federal, State and Local Governments to make the curriculum of the new Universal Basic Education Programmed functional
and relevant to the socio-economic realities of their host communities. The Meeting calls for a review of the proposed crash teacher training
programme by the National Teachers Institute for fear of unleashing half-baked teachers on school children. The Meeting further appeals
to all concerned to make the 2-year pre-primary education programme readily available to every Nigerian child nationwide in view of the crucial
foundation it provides for successful primary education.
The Meeting urges the State Ministries of Education to re-introduce the erstwhile grants-in-aid and similar schemes to facilitate the effective
participation of Voluntary Agencies in the re-vitalization of the educational system.
3.2:2 To boost high moral standards among the youth, sex education
should form part of secondary school curriculum, especially in
schools established by voluntary agencies.
3.2.3 Transparency in Government
The Meeting noted, with gratitude to Almighty God, recent windfalls in the form of unbudgeted, unprecedented increases in the international
prices of crude oil, and hereby appeals to His Excellency President Olusegun Obasanjo to ensure that such additional revenue is channelled to
the productive sector and used to effect perceptible improvement in the quality of life of the average Nigerian.
3.3:1 Reacting to the recent self-cleansing probe by the Senate and the refusal
of the House of Representative to subject itself to a similar self-probe, the Meeting expressed preference for regular, systematic, independent
audit of the financial activities of the three arms of government executive, legislature, and judiciary, at Federal and State levels, including
the Local Governments as against sporadic, fire-fighting self-probes.
Meanwhile the Meeting calls on Nigerians in positions of power and authority to demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of the generality of Nigerians
living below the poverty line when spending public funds entrusted to their care recklessly on themselves.
3.4 The Legislature
Reviewing the high incidence of impeachments and attempted impeachments in the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly, the Meeting attributed
it partly to the manner in which existing political parties were formed, and partly to the get-rich-overnight-from-public-funds syndrome among
Nigeria s present political class.
Notwithstanding the apparent threat to national stability engendered by the development, the Meeting expressed confidence that it could ultimately
result in the emergence of strong Federal and State Legislatures.
4. GLOBAL INTER-ANGLICAN RELATIONS:
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has observed, with dismay, the marginalisation of some Bishops and congregations of the American
Church because of their faithful implementation of Lambeth `98 resolution on human sexuality. The Church of Nigeria, therefore calls for
the exhibition of the spirit of Christ by both sides through dialogue, failing which the Church may employ Christian ways and means of
ministering to persons, particularly Nigerians, subjected to oppression and/or marginalisation in their places of abode.
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) reaffirms its disagreement with the introduction of Sharia in some Northern States of Nigeria, and
condemns the gifts and grants allegedly offered by foreign countries to the states, which implement Sharia.
The Meeting received with sadness news of the passing away of the Most Revd. Robert Runcie and the Most Revd. Donald Coggan, former Archbishops
of Canterbury, and prayed for their families.
7. CONCLUDING PRAYER:
Finally, the Church of Nigeria appeals to all Nigerians to continue to pray for the peace and progress of our dear country Nigeria.
THE MOST REVD. PETER J. Akinola, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate