INTRODUCTION: The 2nd Session of the 7th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion) held from Thursday, 16th May to Sunday 19th May 2019 at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and presided over by the Rt. Revd Dr. James Olusola Odedeji, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West.
The Theme of the Synod is “God Is Our Refuge And Strength” Psalm 46: 1.
1. ON THE THEME OF SYNOD
a. Synod notes that the Theme, “God is our Refuge and Strength”, is a statement of courage and assurance of victory that comes from God in the face of crises and challenges.
b. Synod recognises that Nigeria has multi-dimensional problems but is confident that God would always prove Himself to be our refuge and strength. c. Synod encourages Nigerians to continue to thank God who has not allowed us to be consumed by the challenges that have beclouded our nation.
d. Synod urges Nigerians to turn from their evil ways, not to seek refuge outside God and assures Nigerians that God is always available, strong and reliable.
e. Synod admonishes our churches to continue to worship in the mode that is rooted in the Word of God.
2. NEWS AROUND THE DIOCESE
a. Synod notes that the Diocese would be twenty years old in November 2019, and thanks God for sustaining the Diocese thus far. Synod congratulates the Bishop, the Clergy and the members of the Diocese for the impending landmark anniversary.
b. Synod congratulates the Bishop, the Clergy and the members of the Diocese on the continued spiritual and evangelical growth of the Diocese.
c. Synod commends the numerical and physical growth in the Diocese particularly in the area of church planting and appreciates the families and church societies that have contributed to the establishment of schools and building of churches.
d. Synod applauds the offer of scholarships to many students in the Diocese by churches, individuals and schools.
e. Synod, however, raises concern over the spirituality and mode of worship of our youth and children, especially dispensing with the use of the Holy Bible and, therefore urges parents to ensure that young people use social media to add value to their spirituality and not as a distraction.
f. Synod charges the Clergy and the Sunday School Directorate to supervise the teaching and mode of worship in the Sunday School and Youth Chapels, as well as see to the appropriate and adequate training of Sunday School teachers.
g. Synod categorically states that the youth chapel is not a parallel church. It therefore calls on the authority to ensure that the youth are made familiar with the mode of worship in the adult church at regular intervals, and integrate those who are ripe into the mainstream church at the appropriate time.
3. LAGOS STATE
a. Synod commends the outgoing Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for his performance that cuts across all strata of development index within the state.
b. Synod also congratulates the incoming Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on his election and prays for a successful tenure.
4. STATE OF THE NATION:
a. 2019 General Elections
Synod thanks the Almighty God that Nigeria survived the elections with its challenges.
Synod commiserates with the families that lost dear ones during the elections and prays for the repose of their souls.
Synod reiterates that politics is not a do or die affair and calls on politicians to desist from wasting life in order to achieve their political ambitions.
Synod notes that there are many electoral matters in courts and election tribunals and urges the judiciary to ensure the justice of the cases.
Synod calls on the legislature and the executive to plug all loopholes in the electoral system by perfecting and passing the amended Electoral Act.
Synod challenges the three arms of government to respect the democratic principles of the rule of law and separation of powers.
Synod decries the heightened state of insecurity in the country where lives are lost in their hundreds on a daily basis through banditry, kidnaps, and terrorism.
It notes with dismay the admission by the Federal Government of Nigeria that some of these atrocities are perpetuated by arm-bearing foreigners who roam parts of the country freely.
Synod urges the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently address some of the root causes of the problem such as youth unemployment, the gap between the rich and the poor, corruption, failure of the education system, before there is a total collapse in the civil society.
It therefore calls on the Government to reconsider the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference on the creation of State Police.
Synod continues to call for actions to ensure the release of Leah Shaibu, the remaining Chibok girls and others who have been held captive for years, even if it means engaging the services of international negotiators.
Synod warns of an imminent slide into another recession of the Nigerian economy and it urges the Government to take prompt and decisive steps to address the perennial electricity supply deficiency, which is paralyzing the Nigerian economy and social life.
Synod lauds the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in transforming the transportation sector with the on-going construction of standard rail gauge lines across the country.
Synod believes that such projects would bring succour to ordinary Nigerians and calls on the Government to extend such gesture to other segments of the transportation sector, especially roads.
Synod applauds the Government on the increase in minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000 and encourages the urgent implementation of the new law by all concerned.
Synod expresses great concern over the population explosion in the country. It therefore suggests that the Government should fully utilize the large population for economic benefits.
Synod calls on the government to look into its policies on agriculture to curb the widespread use of hazardous materials in agricultural practices in Nigeria.
The parlous state of the education sector in Nigeria gives the Synod serious concerns, especially as it notes the deplorable state of infrastructure in that sector.
It urges government at all levels to declare a state of emergency in the education sector forthwith.
Synod notes with consternation the paralysis in the health sector and laments the dire situation where some fortunate Nigerians embark on medical tourism abroad, leading to serious capital flight. Synod therefore urges government to pay more attention to the medical needs of Nigerians.
4. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Synod is alarmed at the spike in attacks on innocent people in places of worship all over the world and encourages all not to be dismayed in the face of these mindless and unprovoked attacks.
Synod prays for peace in the world.
Synod charges Nigerians to be relentless in prayer and always lookup to God for He alone is our “refuge and strength”. Psalm 46: 1