BY SUNNY A. DAVID
The Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim, has called for concerted efforts by all levels of governments, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), civil society organizations, Community Based Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations and other Non-Governmental Organisations with interest in Human Rights to effectively champion measures targeted at combating child trafficking scourge and abuses that is still prevalent in Nigeria.
The Archbishop also raised alarm on the high incidence of sexual exploitation of young girls by adults and trafficking in persons for sex, labour and child abuse in the society.
“This, he frowned at and warned young girls particularly those who have been admitted into Girls’ Guild in the Anglican Communion to desist from all forms of sexual immorality, fornication, and prostitution in any disguise by accepting Jesus Christ to receive the Holy Spirit in their lives.”
Archbishop Ibezim’s views were contained in a statement signed by the Media, Research, Communication and Public Relations, Province of the Niger and Diocese of Awka, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, which was made available to journalists in Awka, on Sunday, to mark the 2020 Pentecost Sunday/Children’s day, with the theme: Promoting Girl Child Education for Sustainable Development.
Archbishop Ibezim, in the statement, warned Children, Girls’ Guilds and other youths against mobile phones s.exting- sending, and receiving s.exually explicit images, and messages via digital device sequel to its pervasive tendencies.
He said mobile phones should be used for good tidings and not evil scheming.
He warned young girls to stop sleeping around in order to have a glorious future, insisting that prostitution by whatever disguise is not a business to be associated with true Christian girls and women but for those who don’t know Jesus Christ, noting that they must desist from all forms of sex before marriage and sexual immorality by being chaste in accordance with the scriptures, having welcomed the Holy Spirit into their life.
He decried the dwindling values for chaste life style in the society by millions of youths across the world and the alarming embrace for mundane things, material things and popular culture which most times are evil intended.
He further described men engaging children in prostitution as heartless and beasts who are not worthy to live among honest and god fearing people, even as he warned parents to be mindful of companies their children keep to safeguard them from sexual slavery, sexually transmitted disease, prostitution and other forms of crimes in the society.
He also commended Clergymen in Awka diocese who are in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols during service, in ensuring that their congregation observed social distancing, washing of hands with sanitizers and wearing of facemask as well as other hygiene protocols advanced by government and World Health Organization. He urged other clergymen in the Diocese to emulate them.
Archbishop Ibezim reminded Christians that without the Holy Spirit, a Christian is powerless and incomplete, hence, a powerless child of God is not a true child of God, but a powerful child of God is a true child of God. He encouraged Christians to stop backsliding when it comes to doing the work of God.
He urged Christians to always remember the good things God did in their lives already. He asked the congregation to be strong in faith and embrace Jesus Christ for the Holy Spirit of God to strengthen and resuscitate them.
While describing COVID-19 as evil and satanic targeted at the foundation of Christian faith, Archbishop Ibezim tasked priests to continue to give hope and liberate their congregation from bondage through the strength only Holy Spirit can energize. He buttressed that Holy Spirit is a reality and blessed the future of youths, Girls’ Guild members in Anglican Communion as they are the hope of the church for propagation of the Gospel.
Archbishop Ibezim charged Mothers’ Union; Women’s Guild/Girls’ Guild members in the diocese not to waiver in their faith and the propagation of the Gospel by catching our children young for Jesus Christ.
Today’s Sunday was used to mark the celebration of Anglican Children Ministry (ACM) in all the Anglican Churches in Awka Diocese, Anambra State with theme “Obedience is better than sacrifice”. The Archbishop”s address was read in all the churches with a charge to our children to always obey their parents and shun compromising their Christian faith, the Archbishop added.
The congregation observed social distancing, washing of hands and wearing of face masks as well as all other protocols of COVID-19.