By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar

The Bishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Atamunu Calabar, Rt. Rev. Barr. Otuekong Ukut, has condemned in its entirety the sponsoring of a contingent of 1,411 delegates to the climate change conference in Dubai by the Federal Government.

The cleric made the remarks in a telephone conversation with our correspondent days after rounding off the church convention, which hosted over 5,000 Christian faithful at the church ground, Atamunu Street, Calabar.

Describing the sponsorship as economic waste, when about 70 to 80 percent of Nigerians are yet to get out of poverty, he called for caution on the part of the Federal Government to avoid aggravating Nigeria’s poverty situation.

The preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who spoke after he concluded throwing light on the 2023 Annual convention’s theme: ‘Let Us Move, further stated, “The present government has been taking steps not in consonance with raising the standard of living of the people.”

He added that the suffering by Nigerians is as a result of fiscal policies of the Federal Government, which, according to him, had worsened the situation of the average Nigerian.

He alleged that based on the United Nations statistics, those who constitute the middle class in the society are presently living below the poverty line.

The cleric decried the obliteration of the middle class, which has millions living under the poverty line as stated by the United Nations, calling for reversal of this trend before the situation gets out of hand.

He said, “Further 40 million people, after the 100 million people under Buhari. We have about 140 million Nigerians living below the poverty line currently, because of economic policies of the Federal Government, I am talking of micro and macro policies of the Federal Government.

“This shows that the system we currently run can neither progress this country nor lift us up to higher pedestal.”

He also described the debt servicing effort of the country as an economic quagmire which the nation plunged herself into.

Recall that the Federal Government came under fire by different groups after it funded a contingent to Dubai for the climate change conference.

The cleric advocated dissintegration of the country Nigeria, calling for decentralization of the Federal Government, with her resources put into sub-nations that can take care of her citizens, “rather deceiving ourself that we are a nation.”

He stressed, “What do we produce in Nigeria? We don’t produce a car, we don’t produce anything, only selling of oil, which is right now been obliterated, it is no more bringing in the money, we need to develop the country. We need to reinvigorate this country, otherwise we will sink deeper in the abyss.”


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