By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, recently commissioned and dedicated its N1.1bn worth national secretariat and office complex in Abuja.
The complex situated in Gudu District of Abuja was named “St Matthias House, Church of Nigeria National Secretariat”.
This is as a former Anglican Primate of the Church and also a former Bishop of Abuja, Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola, blamed past and present governments for Nigeria's infrastructure decay.
The Primate of the Church and Archbishop, Metropolitan, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, said it was God's faithfulness that led to the completion of St Matthias House, and likened the story to that of the Israelites.
He and others commended a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), who donated the land, and others for their monetary and material contributions that enabled the completion of the complex.
Dignitaries at the event include a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd); a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice Henry Odein Ajumogobia, among others.
The dedication of St. Matthias House, Church of Nigeria National Secretariat, is at Plot 924, Ibrahim Waziri Crescent, CAD Zone, BOI, Gudu District.
Akinola said it was sad that the 127.6km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway built at the cost of 90 million in 1978, had taken 20 years to be rehabilitated in spite of huge funds sunk into the job by different administrations.
He therefore advised the Church not to allow politicians to guide its activities or influence its decisions.
Akinola expressed regrets over the poor quality of education in the country, adding that because politicians could not fix the problems of the country, they sent their children abroad to study.
He also criticized the poor state of health facilities in the country and described public hospitals as a glorified clinics.
'In our national teaching hospitals, people now sleep on the floor, women now give birth on the floor while nurses engage their phones.
'Our politicians go overseas and are not bothered about how they will help dying Nigerians because they cannot give what they do not have,' he said.
Akinola said that the Church belongs to God and not to any ethnic group and urged tribal leaders and politicians to put all their agenda outside the Church to enable the Church leader to succeed.
Commenting on the killings across the country, he advised Christians to be law-abiding and promote peace, being that the God they served was a God of peace.
He expressed regrets over the killing of 10 youths in Gombe on Sunday night recently but warned that when people were pushed to the wall, they were bound to react violently.
In his speech, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church, spoke about God's faithfulness towards the completion of St Matthias House and likened it to the story of the Israelites to the Promised Land.
Okoh said that God gave man the skill to build houses and He had given the Church of Nigeria in its 40th year the skill to build a new National Secretariat and office complex.
The primate who said the buildings had been dedicated to God through prayer, worship and service of God, said the country needed development but stressed that development was not a 100m dash but a marathon which required one step at a time.
Commenting on the killings across the country, he advised Christians to be law-abiding and promote peace as the God they served was a God of peace.
Okoh stressed the need for the government to protect the citizens and urged the people to choose persons of integrity to protect their interests.
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) came into being on Feb. 14, 1979, recognized as St. Matthias' Day.
The Church was formed from the 16 dioceses of the Anglican Church in Nigeria out of the Anglican Province of West Africa.
Construction of the secretariat started on November 13, 2015, with the foundation laying ceremony.