THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 33RD SYNOD
HELD FROM SUNDAY, 1ST MAY, 2016 TO THURSDAY, 5TH MAY, 2016
The First Session of the 33rd Synod of the Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), presided over by His Grace, The Most Revd. Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, OON, FNAL, Ph.D, Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; was held from Sunday, 1st to Wednesday, 4th May, 2016 at The Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina Lagos and Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
The theme of the 2016 Synod, was “The Marks of the Church” (Prov. 22:28 & Acts. 2:42). The Guest Preacher at the Opening Service of the Synod, held on Sunday, 1st May, 2016, at The Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, was The Rt. Revd Steven K. Akobe, M.Div, Diocesan Bishop of Kabba (Anglican) Diocese, who delivered a most inspiring sermon. The Annual Post Synod Clergy Conference, held on Thursday, 5th May, 2016 at the Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos, rounded off the annual gathering.
Dignitaries at the official opening ceremony on Monday, 2nd May, 2016 included His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and now Senior Special Assistant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Millennium Development Goals, Her Excellency, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, The Prelate of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Emeka Kanu Uche, Archbishops, and more than thirty (30) Bishops, and several dignitaries and important personalities from across the country.
Goodwill messages, expressing solidarity and best wishes were also received from The Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) His Grace, The Most Revd. Dr. Nicholas D. Okoh and thirty seven (37) other Dioceses within the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as well as from the Anglican Students Fellowship.
Commissioned Papers were presented by various scholars including The Rt. Revd. Dr. Babatunde Ogunbanwo, Lord Bishop of Ijebu South-West Anglican Diocese, The Rt. Revd. Henry C. Ndukuba, Lord Bishop of Gombe Anglican Diocese , and The Ven. Dr. Stephen Ayodeji A. Fagbemi, Dean of Archbishop Vining College of Theology, Akure.
The 3-day Bible Study series on “The Apostolic Traditions of Fellowship and Teaching, Breaking of bread and Prayers: An Ideal Formula for Today’s Church” was led by The Very Revd. Dr. Peter Oludipe – The Provost, Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Italowajoda, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Deliberations at the Synod, centred around the various thought-provoking and inspiring Sermons preached, the instructive, enlightening and challenging Bible Studies treated, intensive prayers offered and far-reaching discussion of Reports, presented Papers, Motions and Resolutions.
At the end of the session, Synod issued the following Communiqué:
2.0 THE COMMUNIQUÉ
2.01 Synod appreciates and commends the great leadership virtues of His Grace, The Most Revd. Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, OON, FNAL, Ph.D., the President of Synod, Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and celebrates his spirituality, visionary and administrative acumen, with which he administers the Diocese of Lagos, together with his “indefatigable, inimitable and quintessential” wife, Mama Lagos, Mrs. Oluranti Ademowo
2.02 Synod commends the Diocesan for the choice of the Synod theme: “The Marks of the Church” on account of its appropriateness, suitability and aptness to guide the Church back to the traditions of the early Church as laid down by the Apostles in Fellowship, Prayer, and giving pride of place to the Word of God.
2.03 Synod recognises that the “Marks of the Church” include preaching of the Word, prayer, fasting, evangelism, fellowship, worship and breaking of bread. Synod enjoins Christians to imbibe these practices, which manifest and embodies the “Marks of the Church”.
2.03 Synod emphasises the need for our nation to imbibe holiness as our way of life even as our Creator is Holy.
2.04 Synod feels highly honoured by the presence at Synod of the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and commends His Excellency for his maiden appearance at Synod in keeping faith with the traditions of his predecessors in office every year. Synod commends His Excellency’s sustained giant strides in infrastructural development since assumption of office and urges him to relentlessly keep up the good work. Synod wishes and prays that His Excellency’s tenure would be marked by “monumental achievements.”
2.05 Synod takes cognisance of the anti-corruption measures embarked on by the Federal Government and charges it to intensify the effort being made until corruption is drastically reduced to the barest minimum possible in Nigeria.
2.06 Synod is concerned with the economic downturn of the country that stems from over-dependence on oil to the disregard of other viable sectors especially agriculture. Synod invites Governments, Federal, State and Local, to rapidly deploy more resources to agriculture and to provide such incentives that would make it attractive to the teeming populace especially the youths. This along with adherence to Biblical principles of honesty, contentment, fairness, and reward for hard work remain the panacea for solving the economic problems of the country.
2.07 Synod expresses deep concern over the mass unemployment of youths and continuing loss of jobs and calls on all tiers of Government to declare a national emergency on the need for job creation.
2.08 Synod regrets the current parlous state of the nation’s finances, particularly the inability of over 24 states to pay salaries of their workers despite the bailout package provided by the Federal Government.
2.09 Synod decries the alarming increase of social malaise that have permeated the entire country including rape, paedophilia, ritual killings, kidnappings, human organ harvesting and sale, incest, robberies and other violent crimes; and calls on the Federal Government to step up every security measure aimed at arresting these evils.
2.10 Synod sympathises with all victims of terrorism and violent crimes including those who were recently assaulted and murdered in Agatu, Benue State and Uzo-Uwani, Enugu State by suspected herdsmen and strongly demands that serious measures be taken to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice. It also emphasises that measures be put in place to stem this unwholesome tide of brigandage.
2.11 Synod is alarmed over the report of cattle rearers who were found to possess sophisticated weapons and calls on government to immediately commission a security team to dispossess them of the weapons and monitor them closely with the aim of preventing a re-occurrence of the mayhem already recorded.
2.12 Synod condemns the move by the Kaduna State Government aimed at demolishing the historic over 108 years St. George’s Anglican Cathedral, Sabon Gari, Zaria to pave way for the expansion of a market. Synod calls on the Government of Kaduna State to desist from such plan, which may provoke dire consequences.
2.13 Synod decries the proposed bill to replace the subsisting Preaching Law, aimed at censoring and marginalising Christian’s rights to worship and practice evangelism.
2.14 Synod expresses its deep appreciation to God and all the people He used to secure the release of the kidnapped students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu, Lagos, including the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Inspector-General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State – Mr. Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos Command Director of DSS and other security personnel.
2.15 Synod takes cognisance of the provision of Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”; Consequently, Synod calls on Government at all levels to work to ensure that Government undertakes the fundamental objective and directive principles of state policy and attend to same in such manner that the people of this Nation can attest to the fact that Government is manifestly playing its constitutional role of protecting lives and properties and creating an enabling environment for meaningful economic activities that will guarantee the well-being of the people.
2.16 Synod deplores the current persistent fuel scarcity – a situation engendered by a multiplicity of factors including intractable fuel diversion through our porous borders. Synod urges a concerted action by all stakeholders to bring the perennial scarcity under control.
2.17 Synod appreciates the efforts of the Federal Government for beaming its searchlight on all sectors of the economy in the course of which some shocking revelations were made. Synod enjoins Government not to relent in its efforts until crime is made totally unattractive in our country.
2.18 Synod is concerned about the distractions that the National Law Making exercise has suffered and calls on the National Assembly to settle down to its constitutional duties of law-making that will impact positively on the country and their other oversight functions.
2.19 Synod strongly expresses disapproval on the factors that delayed the passing and signing into law of the 2016 Appropriation Act. Efforts should be made by both the executive and legislative arms of Government to avoid a repeat of this to ensure a virile and prosperous economy.
2.20 Synod notes that incessant power failure has been the bane of economic progress and development of the Nation and calls for urgent, focused and radical upgrading of energy generation, distribution and transmission facilities throughout the country. Synod recommends that Government should create an enabling environment that encourages private participation in the generation and distribution of alternative source of power, such as solar, wind and waste-bio-gas.
2.21 Synod charges all parents to encourage and promote morality among young people by keeping their intimacy away from impressionable young ones, to help reduce the level of immoral conduct and improper sexual behaviour such as rape, indecent assault and other social vices in our society.
2.22 The Synod expresses concern over the increasing human activities that impacts the climate negatively and encourages everyone and the relevant governmental agencies to initiate environmental friendly activities including tree planting, reduction of tree felling, elimination of bush burning, environmental pollution, recycling of recyclable materials thereby, turning waste to wealth.
2.23 Synod identifies with the policy of the Federal Government directing Federal Government employees not to travel abroad for medical treatment at Government expense, Synod therefore challenges Government to show greater commitment to the enhancement of our health care facilities.
The Most Revd Dr. E. Adebola Ademowo OON; FNAL ; Ph. D The Ven. ‘Segun Ladeinde
President of Synod Synod Secretary