The Communique Issued At The End Of The 70th General Church Council (GCC) Meeting Of The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Held 17th—21st April, 2023, At ECWA International Conference Hall, Jos, Nigeria
The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) at her 70th General Church Council (GCC) meeting emphasized the Church’s 2023 theme: ‘Occupy till I come’ (Luke 19:13). The theme was chosen to encourage believers in Jesus Christ, especially ECWA members, to remain occupied in working hard for the advancement of the Kingdom of God until Jesus Christ returns. This calls for every believer in Christ to remain committed and use their gifts and resources to witness for the salvation of souls for His Kingdom and not to be weary.
The Council acknowledged that as believers give themselves to the work of God’s Kingdom, revival breaks forth as the manifestation of God’s holy presence in power and glory in the lives of individuals, families, churches, communities, and the society at large. Revival being the urgent need in the country and ECWA being the catalyst for this great evangelistic and missional thrust, the Council urge all ECWA pastors and members to pray fervently for this fire of revival to spread.
In the course of the 5-day meeting, the Council articulated the 4-fold agenda of ECWA:
- Connecting ECWA to God which involves leading members to grow in the word of God with the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting.
- Connecting ECWA to ECWA with the sole purpose of working together in synergy
- Connecting ECWA to the world through church planting, broadcasting, evangelism and discipleship
- To develop and mobilize resources that will help reposition ECWA to minister the whole Gospel to the whole man in the whole world.
In the course of the 70th General Church Council meeting, elections were conducted and Rev. Stephen Sunday Ajise was re-elected unopposed as ECWA Vice President for a second term of three years, while Rev. Ayuba Ashishe was elected as ECWA General Secretary for a first term of three years. Rev. Michael Adamu was elected as the Trustee of Zone 2 (Gada) and Rev. Dr. Isaac Laudarji as the elected Trustee of zone 6 (North East 1).
The meeting had in attendance the members of the ECWA Executive, ECWA Board of Trustees, Chairmen, Secretaries, and Delegates of all the Ninety-three (93) District Church Councils (DCCs), ECWA Leaders from the Republic of Chad and United States of America. Also in attendance were Directors of the various ECWA Departments, and Heads of ECWA Tertiary Institutions. The Council deliberated on Church related matters, State of the nation Nigeria, the global community and made the following resolutions:
- Creation of a New DCC: The Council granted a conditional approval to the proposed Jos Central District Church Council out of the present Jos DCC.
- The Insecurity in Nigeria: The Council frowned at the high and frightening levels of insecurity in Nigeria through banditry, kidnappings for ransom and ritual killing, incessant killings of innocent citizens by “Unknown Gun Men”, terrorism by especially Islamic extremists, and destruction of lives and property with impunity by these undeserved elements who are ravaging and forcefully occupying cities and lands in the nation with inability of the government at various levels to successfully tackle the menace. A few examples of such atrocities are:
- the recent killing in the month of April, 2023 of sixty-eight (68) people at Zangon Kataf and several other communities in Southern Kaduna
- killing of thirty (30) people in Agatu LGA, two hundred and fifty (250) people in Apa LGA, seventy-five (75) people in Otukpo; thirty-nine (39) people in Guma LGA making a total of three hundred and ninety four (394) people in Benue State, Nigeria
- killing of ten (10) people in Mangu and Bokkos, Plateau State
- sacking of indigenous communities in the Middle-Belt States namely Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Southern Kaduna, Benue, and Taraba.
The Council called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to rise up to her constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property and dealing ruthlessly with those responsible for these wicked acts, and to provide good governance characterized by transparency, integrity and accountability by constituting an atmosphere for employment of teaming youths of Nigeria so as to stem hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, corruption and religious extremism.
- Attacks on Security Personnel: The Council condemned the frequent assaults on security personnel in the line of duty by unidentified groups across the nation. Therefore, the government should improve the provision of security equipment and take adequate care of security personnel while also sieving the security outfit of bad elements and bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to book.
- The Nigeria General Elections: The Council expressed displeasure over the unprofessional conducts of some of the electoral umpires and security agents that, to a very large extent, marred the overall outcome of the just concluded 2023 national and states general elections. The General Church Council called on the judiciary to do justice to all matters that may be brought before the courts as justice should be seen and be manifestly seen to be done since the courts are the last hope of the common man. Politicians, political party leaders, their representatives and supporters were called upon to sheathe their swords and refrain from making inflammatory statements to allow the judiciary carry out its constitutional responsibilities in this case so as to avoid overheating the polity.
- Nigeria Currency Swap Policy: The Council appreciated the Nigeria Currency Swap Policy as a good initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, it expressed displeasure at the unbearable hardship the policy brought to the Nigerian masses. This was compounded by fuel scarcity and hyper-inflation. The Council called on the government to reconsider the processes of implementation of the policy and provide all alternatives to cushioning the negative effects of the policy before 31st December, 2023 deadline and ensure, among other things, that the banks are fully and seamlessly prepared for the smooth implementation.
- 2023 Census: The Council affirmed that national census is a good thing, although it is long overdue. It called on the government to ensure that the Commission adequately mobilizes all genuine citizens for the census. The Council also charged the National Population Commission to be honest, just and equitable and justify the conduct of the exercise. In lieu of the overall call from many quarters of Nigeria for the postponement of the scheduled May 2023 census, also given the fact of the scheduled handing over of government in the same May 2023, the Council advised the Federal Government to postpone the entire exercise till the incoming administration settles down.
- The Incoming Administration: The Council admonished the incoming administrations at all levels of government to learn from the flaws of the past administrations, ensure equity and fairness in the appointments that will reveal the true federal character, listen to the yearnings of the masses and ensure the practice of actual democracy that is founded on the basis of the rule of law. The government was further called upon to ensure the protection of lives and property to avoid escalation of brewing violence.
- Nigeria External and Internal Debt Profile: As at Thursday, 20th April 2023, the Nigerian Debt Management website was quoted as reporting that Nigeria’s External Debt Profile was forty-six trillion, two hundred and twenty-five billion naira (N25) equaling two and a half years Nigeria’s Annual Budgetwith additional internal borrowed fund from CBN to the tone of eight hundred million dollars ($800m) to be shared as so-called palliative to people. The Council advised and cautioned the government to be rational in her borrowing from external and/or internal bodies in order to prevent the national economy from total collapse.
- The International Community: The Council frowned at the global trend of shootings and killings of vulnerable school children, especially in recent shootings in the USA and Canada, child trafficking, drug abuse, military invasions of smaller nations by stronger nations without recourse to international treaty of the sovereignty of each nation. The United Nations was called upon to ensure that such international treaties are strictly adhered to and complied with in order to prevent future occurrences.
The Council closed with special prayer for national and global peace, justice, smooth transition of power in Nigeria and economic growth of the nations.
GOD BLESS ECWA!
GOD BLESS FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!!
GOD BLESS OTHER PARTICIPATORY NATIONS!!!
Rev. (Dr) Stephen Baba Panya Rev. (Dr.) Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jr. fips, mnim, meli, MyrP
ECWA President ECWA General Secretary