MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Emmanuel Ekebe
The Bishop of Oleh Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. John Aruakpor has called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to either restructure the country quickly or allow those who wish to secede to do so peacefully to avoid unnecessary bickering.
According to the Bishop who was speaking at the first session of the 8th Synod of the Diocese held at St. Stephen’s Church, Owhelogbo, Isoko North Local Government Area, last Friday, if restructured, Nigeria will experience rapid development where each state is made to pay 25% of its revenue to the Federal Government while the remaining 75% is devoted to development programmes of the States.
Bishop Aruakpor whose Charge dwelt on this years Synod Theme of: “Understanding the times, signs and seasons speak”, emphasised that whatever has a beginning must have an end and that the theme with bearing from Mathew 16:14 was carefully chosen to awaken the body of Christ now that the end times pestilence, wars, violent crimes, moral decadence and others are on the increase.
This, he said is in spite of advancement in technology and knowledge adding that “every time on earth is planned by God and as Christians, we must know what to do at every point in time”.
While listing some of the achievements and proposed projects of the Diocese including the Mary and Martha Hospital, the ongoing building of the school of Nursing and Midwifery and a Gas factory at Ozoro among others, the Bishop called for partnership with the State Government in areas of education, health care and Agriculture.
Similarly, Aruakpor expressed the readiness of the church to work closely with the Isoko political class to break the current reproach plaguing the Isoko Nation.
Speaking earlier, the Guest Lecturer and Prime Minister of Oyede Kingdom, High Chief Enahoro Eta who spoke on the topic: “Nigeria can be fixed and Developed, How?” proffered solutions on how the Nation can be salvaged through many fronts. He dissected Nigeria’s problems which he described as uncountable but that from his perspective, there is light at the end of the tunnel if we follow the road map he enumerated.
The business mogul listed Good Governance, Credible election Capital punishment for corruption, Diversification of the economy and industrialization as part of the panacea that can get the nation out of the woods. He also mentioned revolution in education and health as well as national development plans, peace and security as crucial elements in fixing Nigeria.
Zeroing on the Isoko nation, Chief Eta called for a paradigm shift, urging the political class to close ranks and avoid blackmailing one another but learn to serve, rather than impose themselves as self-acclaimed leaders. He appealed to wealthy Isoko sons and daughters to come back home to invest in the land while encouraging the people to form co-operatives, go into small scale businesses, tapping into ICT and keying into trader/artisanship and learners support programmes just like the Ibos do.
Quoting from the scriptures, particularly 2 Chronicles 15:7, the Guest Lecturer urged the people to cease from being idle and called for “attitudinal change in the direction of religious hygiene and a renewed commitment to fervent and true worship of the Almighty God in accordance with biblical injunctions rather than man’s logic and understanding.”
In his response to the lecture, Professor Chris Akpotu, President General of the Isoko Development Union (IDU) and chairman of the Lecture, expressed concern that despite the brilliant discussions and sound ideas proffered by well schooled Nigerians and Foreigners as well as the states and National Assemblies, the Nation has failed to develop. This he said has made him to come to the conclusion that “Nigerian is demonically afflicted”.
If so, the professor of management enthused that “the right place to go is the church to liberate the nation”. He expressed happiness that the church is getting into the discuss of the state of the Nation and agreed that though Nigeria is promising, he endorsed the transformational change to stimulate ideas that will help to drive the system.
The IDU President General emphasized that there must be an interface between educational research and the manufacturing industry as such synergy will yield bountiful dividends and that “no level is too little to push the change”.
On his part, the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Special Adviser to the State Governor on Religious Matters, Senior Apostle Sylvanus Okorete who represented the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa stated that it is the message of salvation that will change the narrative and it is the churches’ duty to raise Josephs, Esthers and Dorcases so as to have a better society.
The Church, according to the Special Adviser, remains the center in building and raising righteousness and to reduce conflicts, insecurity and moral decadence in the society.
He enjoined the church not to relent in preaching righteousness and praying for the State Governor who is also a practicing Anglican in his effort towards moving Delta State to a higher level.
Apostle Okorete then announced the pledge of Governor Okowa to contribute the sum of five million naira to the Oleh Anglican Diocese School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Various persons and groups donated different amount of money to support the church projects including Comrade (Chief) Ovuzourie Macaulay who gave N3.5 million on behalf of himself, family and business concerns.
The Guest Lecturer, Chief Eta Enahoro donated One million Naira, the Dean of the Cathedral (on behalf of all the Archdeaconries, N22 million), All Saints Archdeaconry among others.
Meanwhile, the Owhelogbo Community led by the President General, Chief Owho Ovuakporie pledged to donate land for the Church projects as the first one made available was too small.
Gifts were later presented to some personalities and selected dynasties that have contributed to the growth of the St. Stephens Anglican Church including the grandson of the first Christian convert and propagator of the gospel of Christ in Owhelogbo, late Mrs. Mary Mado.
The Ist session of the 8th Synod of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese was attended by several dignitaries across the Nation including His Grace, the most Rev. Markus Ibrahim, the Arch Bishop, Ecclesiastical Province of Jos who was the Guest Preacher, Bishops from the Bendel Ecclesiastical Province led by the Most Rev. Cyril Udutemu, High Chief Iduh Amadhe, former President General, Isoko Development Union (IDU), Traditional Rulers, the Chairman of Isoko South local Government Council represented by his Vice, Hon Mrs. Blessing Uzoge, Rt. Victor Muoghere, retired Bishop of Ughelli Diocese and a host of others.