The Anglican Christian Fellowship of Nigeria, ACFN, yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately convene a national dialogue to save the country from imminent collapse.
ACFN, which is an arm of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), warned that unless Jonathan engaged major stakeholders in a very crucial national discourse, his administration’s desire to ensure peaceful co-existence among the people might fail.
The body premised its call on the many security, social, and religious challenges confronting the country, saying that Nigeria had been existing in a forced union.
Addressing a press conference in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State to herald the maiden national convention of the body expected to end on Sunday, the National President of ACFN, Mr. Henshaw Adetoye, disclosed that echoes emanating across the country pointed to the fact that Nigeria was already in crisis.
Flanked by other members of the national executive, Adetoye, while commenting on the state of the nation, explained that the church could not but continue to pray for good of the country in the forthcoming convention.
The convention with the theme: “Manifestation of a new Dawn,” to be hosted by the Ijebu North Anglican Diocese with an expected number of 2,500 delegates from across Nigeria, would feature special prayer for Nigeria.
Adetoye said that President Jonathan “must stand on the side of restructuring this skewed federation that has only delivered crushing poverty to many families and torrent of bloodbath across the land”.
The ACFN president said the need for a national dialogue was already evident in the Boko Haram insurgency which compelled Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
He said: “Apart from the sectarian violence, Nigeria is also facing multisectoral dysfunction, emblematised in the abysmal failure of electricity generation; the closure of industries, decadence in the university system resulting in many parents sending their children to Ghana or Benin Republic; unemployment which is a time bomb waiting to explode and hospitals that no longer serve as life saving centres. “These are a gruesome indicator that something has gone wrong with the Nigerian union.
“Whatever name we want to call it, let us leave the name sovereign. What we are saying is that let us sit down and talk. “We are in a forced union. Yoruba are being forced to stay with the Hausa.
The Ndigbo are being forced to stay with the Yoruba. Things cannot continue this way. We will continue to pray that the theme of this convention will manifest in this country.”