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The Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Charles Soludo has called for increased partnership with the Church to help sustain his administration’s transformation agenda.
Governor Soludo made this call yesterday while speaking during the Annual Thanksgiving and Official Inauguration of the newly re-elected officers of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter.
The event was held at Life of Faith Gospel Assembly Cathedral, Housing Estate Onitsha.
In his remarks at the occasion, Governor Soludo referred to the church as the biggest partner in the state and society transformation agenda of his administration.
‘If I had missed this event, it would be a huge sense of loss. The foundation is strong and you will succeed,’ he said.
‘What happened here isn’t an ordinary thing. The new Executives of PFN are consecrated to succeed. And you must succeed.
‘When I was sworn in on the 17th of March, we said there won’t be fanfare celebrations.
“Your first day on duty is the day you show to your employers that you are up to the job; not a day for drinking and dancing.
“We took the oath of office at the government house, we read our speech and got to work. All the Bishops of Pentecostals, Catholics and so on; each of them prayed in unison and that’s the hour we set the tone that Anambra is God’s own state.
“Each time we proclaim this, whatever force that comes bows because Jesus is greater than all. Anambra will win,” Governor Soludo stressed.
“We must leave this place better than we met it. God has given us the talent and resources to succeed.
“I was very excited when I heard that PFN has built a hospital which is a major feat of human capital.
“Government accounts for 30% of the health sector while the private and mission hospitals account for 70%. The government is an insignificant player in the health sector.
“The government will like to know about the hospital because we want to partner to some extent.
“In education, the government accounts for 40% while private and mission accounts for 60%,” Governor Soludo said.
‘Our life expectancy in this country is very low. For males, it is 54 years while for women, it is 56 years.
‘On the average in the USA, it’s 76 years and 78 years for males and females respectively.
‘Our health facilities are poor, and our environment is dirty. God will not come down from heaven to fix our health sector.
‘The Church must be a major channel of execution of public sector programmes and policies.
‘Our mission is to bring back public provision of these facilities and we shall be regulating them to ensure that some standards are met.
‘We have declared war on the environment to desilt our drainages.
‘We ask for your prayers and partnership between the church and the state in delivering service. Help to communicate it to the people.
‘The Church has a powerful role to play. Take the message home. I preach about personal responsibility,’ Governor Soludo noted.
‘The Government exists to provide the greatest good for the greatest number. It’s not a convenience for the few. Someone must take the bullet for the greater good of the people.
‘We must all stand up for this here on earth. Government and the church in a partnership must do the work of God.
‘Be the change you want to see. Start from your church and your environment. We will partner with the church to deliver the big agenda. Security, law and order must return to Anambra,’ Soludo maintained.
‘We just signed a contract to lay Fibre optics about Kilometers around Anambra, to have access to high-speed internet. It would be a total game-changer! Technology is everywhere, and everything is technology. That’s the mission because Anambra is the light of the nation.
‘We have recruited 5000 teachers to end the phenomenon of schools without teachers. By doing so, we have done something that hasn’t been done in Nigeria. It’s not about connection but merit-based. Your State of origin doesn’t even matter.
‘The interest of every child is to be taught by the best teacher available, not a teacher from the child’s village.
‘My litmus test to recruit a teacher is to ask myself, whether I will be proud for the teacher to teach my child. We must lead by example. We recruited many people who are not Ndi Anambra. We need the best teachers despite their state of origin.
‘To be transparent, we published the names of the recruited teachers and their scores,” Soludo stressed
“In the First Republic, the Southeast region was the fastest, growing economy in the world with taxes paid by peasant farmers. We built Onitsha, Aba, Port-Harcourt etc.
‘Oil money came and People forgot that citizens have to pay for public services.
‘Part of the revolution going on is that we are re-establishing the social contract between the government and the people.
‘Under my watch as your Chief servant, we pledge to account for every Kobo you put in our hands. So long as I am here, it will be value for money.
‘I see one body of Christ. I don’t see why there must be dividing lines. Christians must unite to defeat idolatry.’
For his part, the Chairman of PFN, Anambra State Chapter, Bishop Moses Ezedebego stated that PFN is the umbrella organization which coordinates the body of Christ under the Pentecostal Churches for the purpose of unity as underlined by the prayer of the Lord Jesus in John 17.