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Expect no magic from Nigeria’s next, says Emuchay

Elder (Dr.) Napo Emuchay is the President of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and Senior Apostle in the Holy Order of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim (ESOCS) speaks with CHINYERE ABIAZIEM on how for the first time, the president of CAN emerged from OAIC and some national issues

 

Famine is hitting hard in Nigeria with many Nigerians fleeing the country as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last Thursday said Nigeria’s inflation rate has risen to 20.52 per cent in August 2022.  What do you think of this?

It is only a natural response to look for greener pastures if you are living under very stringent conditions. If somebody is unemployed for two to five years after coming out of the university, then he or she begins to make maximum alternative arrangements. But what we are against is people resorting to evil because they are hungry.

You cannot give hunger as an excuse for stealing. If you are caught for stealing you will be punished. So, it is better you look for something legitimate to do, no matter how small. If you ask me, this present government is making efforts in terms of offering skills acquisition and other interventions. Also, there are institutions, including churches that are collaborating with the government’s efforts in reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.

In ESOCS for example we have trained some people and we are in the process of equipping them with the starter kits which will cost over N20 to 30 million. It is part of the welfare package for members.

That being said, there is need for the government to do something about the economic situation, banditry, kidnappings and other challenges confronting the nation. Before we come to the economy, there are issues that this government has not been able to control, particularly insecurity. The rate at which Nigerians are being daily is much.

This is enough reason for some to flee the country. The situation is bad but here in our country, those who can stay will do and keep praying that salvation comes. That is why 2023 is going to be tough.

It is our prayer that people should exercise their votes reasonably. Do not vote for money, vote for someone who has the capacity, who can deliver the nation.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been at loggerheads with the government particularly over its welfare and no compromise seems to be reached in calling off the ongoing six-month strike, though the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered that the union calls off the strike, of which the union has appealed the order. What is your take on this issue?

 

Government should sit, strike a deal with ASUU and find a solution to the problem. Students causing blockades on the roads and airports will cause more harm to the economy. There is no problem that cannot be solved.

 

This is part of the problems created by humans and you will always have human solutions to human problems. I do not believe that the problem is insurmountable. If the government is serious and wants to end the problem, they can. Government can appeal to the conscience of these people if the agreement reached earlier can no longer be honoured due to the state of the economy.

But if the government turns blind eye to the plight of ASUU and shy away from their responsibility, the people will continue to cry. I think the government has not done very well in handling this issue. The union too should shift position if the government is making an offer.

Nothing is constant in life, the only factor that is constant is change. I do not think they have all done very well because the victims are the students, their parents and guardians.

 

This issue is having a knock on the economy. A lot of businesses have been paralyzed especially on the campuses. Some of the business operators have been forced to close and a lot of people are suffering from this issue.

There were reports days ago alleging that a Cherubim and Seraphim Church was attacked during a vigil in Kaduna with members kidnapped. What do you think about frequent attacks especially on churches?

That is sacrilege. It shows such people do not have respect for God. We should fear God because the fear of God is primary. All the three Abrahamic religions have a common meeting point which is the belief in God.

Talking about 2023 elections, some Nigerians of the Igbo extraction have maintained that it is the turn of the region to produce a president, whereas, some have declared that it is not feasible, adding that Igbos stand to gain from the emergence of a South-West president…

(Laughs) They are all politicians. Someone can say that if he feels that this situation will elude him. They can make concessions and say they will give the presidency to an Igbo man but if he feels that he may not be favoured the person may say ‘no, it’s not yet time.’ You understand that?

That is a subjective judgement. A lot of people feel that the position should rotate, that it should go to the South-East this time to at least complete the cycle. If people want to be realistic, I think they should consider that. But I don’t think they should also look at the capacity of the individual, a credible candidate who can deliver.

I love what someone said the other day that tribes should not be the priority. It is the ability to deliver a serious, honest and transparent person. The messiah can come from any tribe.

Given the present state of things and considering the logistics of leadership, a southeast person who can deliver should be president. Also for equity, if southsouth, southwest and the north have led so let them consider the southeast.

What kind of President do you think Nigeria needs at this point?

Nigeria needs a President who is broadminded and not tribe conscious; somebody who has the right focus; someone who has both sympathy and apathy; someone who can preserve because it will take time to clear the mess in the country. If anyone tells you the new president will perform magic within one year, it is a lie and waste of time.

Nigeria needs a patient person who has a track record of success. These are things I think we need to consider. But our prayer is that God should give us a good leader. Honestly, the country is in a quandary and things are not right.

 

Only God can help us, but we can contribute to our success by doing the right things. Without relying on the government, there are things we should be able to do individually. People should show commitment and love for one another. We should not be selfish.

The new president of the Christian As- Emuchay sociation of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Daniel Okoh, is from the OAIC and this is the first time such is happening in OAIC. How do you see this and what does it portend for the bloc?

 

It is the advent of a new era and we are particularly happy because in the history of OAIC this is the first time we have been privileged to field a candidate for the presidency of CAN. We are happy that our candidate scaled through, he has been the Vice President of CAN twice on two occasions. He is eminently qualified to be the president.

From his disposition and general outlook, he is a man fit for that position, at least having served two tenures as a vice president that must have equipped him sufficiently enough to lead the Christian Association of Nigeria.

We are happy and our prayer is that he should do very well. He is our first candidate to attend that position and we shall give him all the necessary support to make sure he succeeds.

Why did it take this long to have a CAN President from the OAIC bloc?

There was discrimination at the initial stage. You know, the conventional churches actually dominated the space. The Catholics have been there several times. The Anglicans have been there. Then lately the Pentecostals came in. Then OAIC and TEKAN/ECWA have not had the privilege to lead the association.

 

So I think things have been put in place as the leadership of CAN will now be on a rotational basis. It is very likely that after this tenure the next President will come from ECWA/TEKAN. We are now taking it in turns that we believe is the right thing to do.

There is no point marginalizing any group. The groups that set up the Christian Association of Nigeria felt that the other groups were not mature enough to assume leadership positions. This was an old issue at the time, they may be right at that time.

But the different blocs have grown both in size and the quality of their membership that there is no bloc. There is no bloc that cannot produce a president.

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