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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria Inc. Issues a Statement on The State Of The Nation


The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) had its 2nd Quarter National Executive Council Meeting on 29th June, 2017 in Lagos. 

A number of issues of concern to the Church and of national interest were raised and exhaustively discussed at the NEC meeting and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria resolves as follows:

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is concerned about the unhealthy and avoidable controversy generated by the introduction/implementation of the revised Basic Education Curriculum, especially as it pertains to the unnecessary collapse of Christian Religious Studies into an omnibus subject  known as Religion and National Values.

We note the explanation by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) on the issue. Also of note is the rationale and circumstances advanced for the change. However, the PFN maintains that whatever be the case, there is really no tangible justification or convincing explanation for the act by NERDC, which is already creating uneasy calm and needless confusion. If there is anything it has done, it has made the curriculum vulnerable for the injection of whims and caprices of people with hidden agenda and vested interests- people who have always desired to impose their religious preferences on others, particularly innocent Nigerian students being the target in this case.

Therefore, the PFN calls for an immediate reversal of the decision and return to status quo. Christian Religious Studies has to stand on its own as a separate subject just as it has always been. National Values can stand alone as a subject, just like Civics, so it can be given the attention it deserves without bringing religion into it. Collapsing CRK as only a part of Religion and National Values not only deprive Christian students the opportunity of study as they have always had, but it forecloses the opportunity of the subject being studied at the tertiary level by those students who might desire to do so.

On the question of the compulsory study of foreign languages, as the curriculum has laid out, the PFN urges that the window be opened up to more languages beyond French and Arabic to accommodate other languages such as Spanish, German, Chinese, etc., so that our children can enjoy greater flexibility in foreign language study and not be compelled to study a language they have no interest in. This will prevent a chaotic situation, as its being already reported in some states.

We are aware of orchestrated plans to subtly use this policy as a means of forceful religious indoctrination. Indeed, we have received reports from some states where, as a policy, teachers for French and Christian Religious Studies are deliberately not being recruited and these subjects excluded from the curriculum, thus leaving students with no choice in the matter of foreign language and religious study.

The PFN maintains its stand against acts that tend to promote religious disharmony and we have advised all Christian students to peacefully boycott classes in such subjects that are in conflict with their religious persuasion where compulsion is being employed. 

The PFN is worried about developments in Southern Kaduna, especially the lack of prompt response to guarantee the security of lives and property there, which had led in the recent past to loss of lives of many of the indigenes of that area. The PFN calls for more attention to be paid to the plight of the victims of the Southern Kaduna crisis. A delegation from the PFN recently paid a visit to Southern Kaduna and made a presentation of N15 million worth of relief materials to the different groups, irrespective of ethnicity or religion. From that visit, we can see that there is much more that urgently needs to be done for the people of Southern Kaduna and urgently too. We call on the Federal government and Kaduna State government to immediately improve on their rehabilitation efforts.

The PFN commends the Federal Government for the progress made in tackling Boko Haram in the country and the efforts made to secure the release of some of the Chibok girls as well as rehabilitate them. We urge the government not to relent in its efforts at ensuring the release of the remaining girls and others still in the captivity of the terrorist group.

The PFN is concerned that many killings across the country are linked to Fulani herdsmen, who seem to find it so easy to kill and destroy farms and houses and yet are able to evade apprehension by security forces.

Ecclesiastes 8: 11 states, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”  We call for adequate and appropriate response of government to put an end to the activities of these killer Herdsmen across the country.
 We urge the Federal Government to take the issue of security more seriously especially the spate of kidnappings all over the country.

The PFN restates its position that nomadic cattle-rearing has become outdated. It urges the government of the states, where cattle rearing is a part and parcel of their culture, to build ranches and develop reserves where cattle owners can husband their animals without travelling long distances, where they stray into farms, destroy crops and constitute nuisance and threat to other communities.

The PFN notes with concern the restiveness in different parts of the country and the increasing calls for a break-up of the country on the part of those purportedly speaking for ethnic groups. We restate our belief in the unity of Nigeria and a commitment to ONE Nigeria where people of different faiths and tongues can continue to live together as one.

However, we call on the government to do all it can to assuage the fears and concerns of everyone and ensure the practice of Federalism in its true form. We urge the government to pay attention to the calls for restructuring and find a way to push for further devolution of powers, while adopting an all-inclusive approach to governance and development in the country.

The PFN is concerned about the apparent lopsided appointments into sensitive positions by the Federal Government and urges for balance and an all-inclusive approach in making appointments so as not to exacerbate the increasing mistrust along ethnic and religious lines in the country.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria strongly condemns the destruction of Churches that often occurs in the Northern part of the country. The Constitution guarantees the freedom of worship to all Nigerians and that right cannot be capriciously breached by anyone. We call that Churches that have been destroyed should be rebuilt by the state governments along with the ones destroyed by Boko Haram and appropriate compensation paid to the victims. We restate our call on state governments in the parts of the country in the habit of withholding the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy on landed property owned by Churches to immediately issue them and desist from the practice of discrimination on the basis of religion.

The PFN commends the Federal Government on the fight against corruption and the various reforms instituted to curb this menace that has almost crippled Nigeria. We urge the government to be fair to all and to pursue this cause within the ambit of the laws of the land. There should be no sacred cows or sacrificial lambs.

We commend various measures taken by government towards a revival of the economy. We are glad that some of those measures are beginning to yield fruits. However, the PFN is still concerned about the hardship the ordinary Nigerian is facing. We are aware of the Social Intervention programmes, but we call for a more concerted effort on the part of Federal Government to mitigate the pains and generate more employment opportunities, especially for the youth.

We commend the efforts put into shoring up the Naira in recent times but we push for more concerted efforts in this regard. The government’s drive to promote patronage of locally produced goods is a commendable one. The PFN urges Nigerians to fully embrace this initiative and consume what we produce locally.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria urges Nigerians to be more prayerful and re-dedicate themselves to living together in harmony, irrespective of faith and creed.

Bishop Mike Okonkwo                    Pastor Enoch Adeboye
NAC, Member                        NAC, Member

Bishop David Oyedopo                    Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor
NAC, Member                         NAC, Member

Rev. Dr. (Mrs) Mercy Ezekiel                Apostle Emmanuel Kure
National Prayer Coordinator                National Secretary

Rev. Dr. Felix Omobude                    Bishop Wale Oke
National President                    National Deputy President

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