Bishop Emeritus, and the first presiding Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Nigeria, the Rt. Rev. Samuel Chuka Ekemam (snr), has warned that Nigeria may explode if the on-going national conference is not properly handled.
According to the prelate, Nigeria is presently at the cross road, sitting on a keg of gun powder, waiting to explode.
The erudite scholar and evangelist who has been in the Lord’s Vineyard for many years made these declarations while speaking to the Christian Voice Newspaper at the Hill-top A.M.E.Z. Church Office, Owerri, Imo State Capital, recently.
Bishop Ekemam, who spoke on a number of national and international issues, is of the view that, “if ethnic nationalities in Nigeria cannot forge ahead as an indivisible national entity under God’s guidance, the best next alternative is peaceful separation.
He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his courage to set up the conference amidst odds, adding, that, although this is not the first or second conference that had been organized in the country.
Nigerians now look up on the conference delegates to work beyond parochial ethnic interest and seek those things that would promote national co-existence, he said.
The out-spoken prelate said: “if delegates to the conference would tackle the issues of corruption (especially among the ruling class), nepotism, marginalization of certain sections of the country, greed, and others, and create a level playing ground for justice, equity and fair-play, Nigeria would be a better place for all”, adding that, righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach.
The man of God who described himself as a second generation Zionite, debunked the insinuations that A.M.E.Zion Church is an off-shoot of Wesley Methodist Church Nigeria.
According to him, A.M.E.Z. church was founded by Rev. Mr Samuel Wesley, an Anglican priest in America in 1796. He was moved by a true reform and spiritual upliftment that would impact on the lives of Christians,especially the liberated African slaves at that time.
He corrects an impression that the church was his, saying that A.M.E.Z. Church does not belong to any one including himself.
He said he was enthroned the first bishop in 1988, and retired in 2012, having served his constitutional tenure according to the church’s rules.
He thanked the present presiding Bishop in Nigeria, Bishop Michael Angelo Frencher, an American, for his support and care since his retirement in 2012.
Asked to comment on the state of the church in recent times, the Deputy State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said that the church is in a new dispensation. He said a lot of progress had been made in the preaching and teaching of the word of God, but regretted that evil men and women have infiltrated into the told thereby causing confusion.
On the allegations that CAN is a toothless bull dogs and helpless with Boko Haram, Bishop Ekemam said that CAN is not given to violence, but quickly prayed to God to help the organization, adding, we cannot continue to pray while infidels will take the entire country captive.
The CAN Chieftain appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to deal with the situation once and for al, adding, how can a small band of miscreants hold the nation hostage for almost five years now?