The high rate of crime in the society in the recent times has raised doubts on the efficacy or otherwise of strategies and measures adopted by relevant government agencies and religious organisations to tackle the social menace in the country.
Reactions from eminent Nigerians on the issue point accusing fingers on corruption in high places in the country which has greatly affected the value and moral system in Nigeria.
For a minister of God in Rivers State, Mrs Philomena Everest-Ihedioha, the development is traceable to the high unemployment level and absence of basic necessities of life pervading the entire country.
Mrs Everest-Ihedioha who is the Pastor of Holy Ghost Devine Favour Ministry in Port Harcourt, was of the view that unless decisive measurers are taken to address the problem, the current campaign against corruption would not achieve desired result.
In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Tide in Port Harcourt on Thursday against the backdrop of groaning economic hardship in
2009, she passionately appealed to the present administration at all levels to embark upon aggressive creation of employment opportunities and improvement of social amenities to ameliorate the long neglect and sufferings of the masses in the years ahead.
Pastor Everest-Ihedioha who hails from Imo State also wants government to take a second look into the education sector with a view to making it affordable, efficient and effective in the country.
Describing education sector as the bedrock of development of nation all over the world, she stressed the need for government to introduce free education in the primary and secondary levels in the 36 states, while the tertiary institutions should be made affordable to the children of poor parents to enable them acquire necessary knowledge to be responsible citizens.
Commenting on the roles of churches in fighting corruption and other forms of crime in the society, Pastor Everest-Ihedioha argued that the church of God in Nigeria has helped greatly to reduce crime and criminal activities because many souls that were converted for Christ dropped their evil practices.
She was emphatic that if not for the churches, the level of crime in Nigeria today would have been unimaginable as compared to the present situation in the country. Although, she acknowledged that some churches and ministers of God have derailed from the initial commission of preaching repentance and salvation to the people due largely to lust for earthly things.
According to the cleric, Christians of old also suffered the same situation in which they cried out to God for solution.
Quoting the Bible Book of Habakkuk chapter three verse two to buttress her points, Pastor Everest-Ihedinoha noted that if Nigerians especially christians would focus on Jesus Christ for solution to the numerous problems confronting Nigeria as a nation, there would be positive change in the country this year.
Using the forth-coming general election in the country as an example, the woman of God admonished politicians and the electorates to always have fear of God and shun acts of killing, destruction and election rigging in order to attract the favour and blessing of God.
Declaring 2010 as a year of victory for nations and individuals who are obedient to God’s commandments, Pastor Everest-Ihediola urged Nigerians to exhibit love, humility, and care this year irrespective of religious and political differences.
On the controversy over the ordination of a woman as a leader in the Church, she referred those opposed to the divine assignment of women as a leader in the church of God to the Book of Judges Chapter four verse four where God effectively used prophetess Deborah to judge the people of Israel and also preach the gospel.
According to the woman of God, what is important in the sight of God is righteousness and obedience to the commandment as contained in the Holy Bible and not gender discrimination.
Although, she also acknowledged that the challenges of a woman combining the divine assignment of a labourer in the Lord’s vineyard with family responsibility is enormous adding that it takes the grace of God for her to remain faithful.
The Pastor told The Weekend Tide how God encountered her following a serious sickness immediately after the birth of her second son in 1988, which almost took her life as doctors could not diagnose the cause of the problem.
She expressed gratitude to God for His Mercies and wonderful works and miracles performed in her ministry.