The maiden Synod of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Ado Ekiti held at the Cathedral of Praise, Ado Ekiti from Friday, 28th April to Sunday, 30th April, 2023 under the spiritual guidance and visionary leadership of The Rt. Rev Jeremiah Abidemi M. Shittu, the Bishop of Diocese of Ado Ekiti and the pragmatic Lay President, Sir Chief Olajide Borode, KJW.
The synod was unique being the first of its kind under a newly consecrated bishop and pioneer lay president.
The Theme of the Synod focused largely on the 2023 Conference Theme “CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH”- Jude: 1:3.
Various matters that bothered on spirituality, gospel propagation vis a vis the growth of Methodism in the budding diocese were exhaustively deliberated upon in addition to sundry national issues. Consequently, the synod issued as follows:
Returning to the Faith
Synod appraises the proliferation of religion sects, false teachings and practices that have put many innocent souls into bondage and challenges Christians to stand up for Christ by contending for the faith. Synod notes that it is only when believers contend for the faith through uprightness, righteousness and holiness that unbelievers could be drawn to Christ.
State of the Nation
The synod expresses gratitude to God for His grace and faithfulness over Nigeria particularly on the relative peace experienced during the just concluded general elections and urges the INEC and Governments to improve upon future elections.
In the same vein, Synod felicitates Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Shettima Kazeem president and vice president elect respectively and other elected persons, especially Bro Femi Fatunla, member elect, Ekiti State House of Assembly for their victory at the polls. Synod advises them to unite the country and lead with the fear of the Lord by being fair to all without religion and ethnic considerations.
Synod Lauds Giant Developmental Efforts of the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji and encourages him to keep up the good works and enjoins the incoming administration at the national level to emulate this by giving attention to the provision of infrastructure to boost industrial growth thereby generating employment for our teeming youths.
Synod expresses concerns over the unabated insecurity in Nigeria and observes that the various security threats in the country are capable of discouraging investors. Synod appeals to perpetrators of security breaches to sheathe their swords by laying down their arms and embrace dialogue for peace to reign supreme. Accordingly, Synod advises the incoming national leaders to prioritise the security of lives and properties to facilitate foreign direct investments (FDIs). Synod calls for adequate funding, equipment and intelligence gathering among the various security agencies.
Bloodletting in the Country
Synod decries the spate of killing of human beings, killing of victims of kidnapping because of inability to pay the ransom demanded and or even after payment of huge ransoms recalling the unpleasant incidence of torture of the retired Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria in the hands of kidnappers. Synod therefore appeals to Government at all levels to put in place necessary machinery to halt the ugly trend as God takes exception to the spilling of human blood.
Synod attributes the impending food shortages in the country to the fear of being attacked by bandits, herders, kidnappers etc anytime farmers and agriculturists go to their farms. Synod observes that unless deliberate and conscious efforts are made, food insufficiency could further worsen the situation of the citizenry. Consequently, Synod advises that the nation’s farming activities should take into consideration the challenges of climate change while the impediments to farming be tackled.
Synod expresses grave concern over the state of education in Nigeria and calls for urgent and decisive actions to revive the ailing education sector by the incoming administration of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to save the total collapse of education. Synod submits as more worrisome the number of out of school children especially the abysmal position Nigeria occupies in the world as the number 2 country with the highest number of out of school children! Thus synod emphasizes the needs for adequate funding and an urgent review of the education curriculum to meet the challenges of the 21st century as well as halt the incessant strikes in our citadel of education in addition to offering solutions to the root causes of out-of –school children such as poverty, cultural practices etc.
Synod notes the challenges hindering the growth of the nation’s economy which include erratic power supply, corruption, inconsistent government regulations etc. and appeals to Government to initiate sustainable economic reforms that could lead to concrete and visible deliverables across sectors. Synod opines further that the revenue sharing formula needs to be reviewed for social justice, fairness, equity to enable states to meet their increasing responsibilities.
Synod rejoices with the workers on the occasion of the 2023 Worker’s Day and call on all employers of labour to ensure that their employees earn living wages in order to better their lots in view of the inflationary trend in the country. Synod remarks that prompt payment of salaries and allowances to workers as well as pensions to pensioners was critical to the well being of those concerned. Synod enjoins concerned authorities not to be discriminatory in the payment of the recently 40% approved for some agencies of the Federal Government.
Synod frowns at the shoddy preparation of the National Population Commission for the now postponed census despite Federal Government’s huge investment in the programme. Synod therefore challenges the NPC to brace up to enable it deliver on its mandate as the importance of a widely acceptable census in planning cannot be treated with levity.
Synod considers the proposed removal of the fuel subsidy. Accordingly, Synod opines that effective social intervention programmes be put in place to cushion the envisaged effects of the removal appealing to the Federal Government to make the refineries work and pursue the diversification of the oil sector.
Synod condemns the do or die attitude of some politicians which led to violence before, during and after the general elections in some parts of the country. The Synod sees this ugly trend as a great threat to democracy and charges stakeholders to play the game according to its rules. Synod canvasses making political offices less attractive to eliminate violence from the body polity thereby enabling people with genuine interests to serve the nation.
Synod stresses the needs for believers and Nigerians to be reminded of John Wesley’s teachings of scriptural holiness, social and economic justice by striving to live in accordance with these principles and to be shining examples of Christ’s love and compassion to the world around us at this end time. Synod affirms that it is only through contending for the faith that Nigeria could overcome the hydra headed problems of corruption, divisiveness, ethnicity, nepotism, false teachings and all other evils affecting the greatness of the country.