Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has appealed to church leaders to return our youths to moral path that is expected of them for a better society.
The governor made the appeal on Sunday at the Anglican Church of Pentecost, New Owerri during the closing session of the First Session of the Ninth Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Egbu.
The theme of the Synod is: ‘David a man after God’s heart’ with the central message to wit, “The Journey, Successes, Challenges and Aftermath” (Acts 12: 22): A challenge to present day Socio/political and Religious Leaders.
In his remarks on the topic: ‘Let our faith remain in God’, the Governor noted: “Outside the family, the church remains the most important factor in training and reorientation of our youths. The church should remain the moral compass through which the youths can find their bearing.”
Governor Uzodimma also kicked against the division among Christians who profess one faith and appealed to church leaders to be united as the body of Christ. “Too much division among the Christian body has weakened our fighting spirit,” he said.
The governor who assessed the role of church leaders in our society today posed a question to them thus: How far have you gone with the journey of your role as religious leaders?
His words: “So I ask, in the face of the challenges we face today in our country and state; the challenge of divisive tendencies, the challenge of hate speeches and actions, what role are you playing as religious leaders?
“Are you dousing the tension by preaching the message of love and tolerance as the Apostles did? Or are you stoking the fire of hate and division by wittingly and or unwittingly preaching the message of division?
“As some people say, these are million dollar questions which only you, in the recess of the bosom of your consciences, can answer. I will not pose the same questions to the political class because we all know that some of them are agents of destruction and division.
“The roles played by some of them in hijacking the #EndSARS protests to unleash mayhem in our state just to serve their selfish political ends, should be fresh enough in our memories. Yet the question props up again, what did our religious leaders do or say in the face of such an incredible show of shame?”
Governor Uzodimma used the opportunity to inform the church and the congregation of what he has done in the past 11 months he has been in the saddle, reminding them once again that he has come to serve Imo people sincerely and with fear and faith in God.
He decried the situation where propaganda, hate speeches and outright blackmail have been elevated to a kind of worship in the state by politicians who are selfish, yet the church leaders and their followers are cold to ask pertinent questions as regards the reality on the ground.
He said: “I am a politician and I do not claim to be a Saint. But one thing I am certain of is that I will never indulge in any action that can fan the embers of hate or even out-rightly bring about destruction in the state just to serve my selfish political ends.
“If I have made mistakes in the 11 months that I have been your Governor it must have been in the course of my determination to offer honest service to our people. In the spirit of the ever repentant David, I now repent of them, so that I will be a man after God’s heart.
“However, I know that it is not as simple as that. At this time of uncertainty and insecurity in the land, offering you words of encouragement may not be enough but as Christians we should never lose hope. Our faith in God must be absolute because He is capable of redeeming us from both our spiritual and physical challenges. On that score, I bring you message of hope in the Lord.”
Governor Uzodimma reiterated that the roads in the state will be fixed, including the Nekede- Ihiagwa – Obinze road as the rains recede and regretted that the contractor handling the said road project who collected mobilisation fee of N1.4 billion from the previous Government bolted. “We are after them. But my assurance is that the road and others will be tackled now that the rains are receding,” he assured.
The governor who explained what he had done in the area of automation pay roll of civil servants and other critical infrastructure pleaded with the people to be patient with his administration and see what he will do in the nearest future because he has a covenant with God concerning Imo.
“On that note, let me thank you again for the opportunity given to me to be here. May God guide you to take decisions that will strengthen the church and our state,” Governor Uzodimma noted and promised to continue to support the work of God both in his personal and official capacity.
CPS/Media Adviser to the Governor, Imo State
November 8, 2020