By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Anglican bishop of Ihiala Diocese in Anambra State, Rt Rev'd Prof Israel Kelue Okoye, has called on government at all levels to eliminate financial wastages in whatever form and increase the salaries of workers, describing the debacle over minimum wage implementation in Nigeria as unnecessary.
The observation was contained in his presidential address presented at St Mary's Church, Isseke in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State during the second session of the Third Synod of the Diocese.
Bishop Okoye noted that market forces, coupled with greed and financial rascality, would continue to devalue any amount paid to workers until leaders devised means of liberating the country from dependency and economic parasitism to developing the productive sector of the economy.
According to him, one issue that had not been given proper attention was why the value of the Nigerian money could not compete favourably with those of other currencies dominating the world market.
His words: 'As long as market forces influence the value of a currency, countries like Nigeria that are not competitively productive cannot make a head way with their currency.'
Commenting on the 2019 general elections, Bishop Okoye expressed concern at what he saw as the dangerous trend fast developing in the country associated with this period of elections and called on INEC and security agencies not to be a tool in the hands of politicians.
The Ihiala Diocesan Bishop said the spate of manipulations, protests, violence, vote-buying and defections that characterized the party primaries and other activities associated with the 2019 elections in Nigeria had given rise to what he called locusts that surged aggressively towards 2019 elections.
'It is starkly incontrovertible that many Nigerian politicians have no passion for the well-being of the people. Parasitic politicians he said are now hovering all over the country, promising the best of paradise to the electorate and distributing money to people. They are both enemies of democracy and the people and the electorate must rise to the challenges before us, he said.
The fiery preacher talked tough on the continuous delay in release of Leah Sharibu who is still in the hands of her abductors, describing such act as a show of shame and dent on the image of the federal government, even as he called on God to intervene in Leah's case.
Speaking on the theme of the synod which was "where are you " taken from Genesis 3:9, Bishop Okoye noted that the devil was leaving no stone unturned to derail God's people from biblical Christianity, adding that God raised a growing population of people who faked his gift while some resorted to occultism and other immoral acts to serve Satan.
'As poverty spread with rapidity, fraudulent activities are being done in the name of Jesus Christ and Christian homes are fast losing their spirituality. God persists in asking those for whom Jesus Christ shed his precious blood, ''Where are you''?'
He however called on Christians to strive always to stand on the truth as sanctioned by the word of God.
In a synod lecture entitled, "Strategies for raising a self-sustaining Church", delivered by a politician of note, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, he called on the church all over the world to make effort in addressing the needs of the congregants rather than dwell in preaching only salvation.
Chief Iwuanyanwu also suggested that every diocese should establish a special department on employment of youths and skill acquisition which, he said, was achievable if churches worked with government agencies and parastatals.
'Every diocese should have a business department where some organs of the church can make investment,' he suggested.