Persecutions: Northern CAN Preaches Unity Amongst Members

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

In the face of violent persecutions currently facing its members in the North, the Northern chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Friday urged members to be more united and forge a common course to achieve common goal, noting that it was only by this that violence against the body of Christ could be overcome.

The association was at its Northern Region Delegates Meeting which took place at the headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Jos Plateau State.

Speaking at the meeting, Former Head of State and Founder of Nigeria Prays, General Yakubu Gowon said that the violent conflicts experienced in Nigeria could only be resolved if the church would agree on a common course.

Represented by the former deputy governor of Taraba State, Dr. Samuel Gani, Gowon, who seemed to suggest that differences of opinion could not be totally ruled out, however said that the unity of mankind as seen in Genesis was redeemed.

According to him, “Yet Revelation does not suggest that differences are obliterated. There are still worshippers from different nations, tribes, peoples and languages. This diversity reflects God’s glory even further, in that different people are united in common act of worship.”

Gowon posited that as an elder and Christian leader, he was worried that division in the body of Christ was assuming an alarming proportion, asserting that if care was not taken, “this may destroy the body of Christ. The Church must unite to contend for our faith, in the face of persecution and discrimination. This is a task that must be done.”

Earlier, the CAN chairman of the 19 Northern States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Reverend Yakubu Pam, said the events of the recent past were challenges to their faith, both spiritual and otherwise.

Pam believed that it was imperative to take a second look at their condition and present a common front in tackling their problems and other matters of concern. He argued that his stand had always been in favour of dialogue among Christian brothers.

“By so doing, this will be a new beginning for the Christian Association of Nigeria in the north as it would be a body where our youths would find solace, it would be a body that provides succour for Christians living in poverty, would serve as a voice against violent attacks against Christian farmers living in the rural communities and of course would partner and seek wisdom for our leaders in authority,” Pam noted.

He also stressed that the journey may not be too smooth, but preached that together it will be a good and pleasant journey in unity in the long run.

He condemned the continuous violent attacks on Christian rural farmers and the increasing cases of girl–child abductions and forced marriages which he said were currently taking place in the North and other parts of the country, calling on state and federal governments to address the social and security challenges that had caused tension and anxiety in the country.

Prof. Yusufu Turaki, a guest speaker at the meeting said that unity had eluded the Christians in the North because national policy system and elections had so factionalised the Christian communities to the extent that they did not have a common goal for self–preservation and security among others.

He reasoned that Christian communities were the worst hit by Boko Haram jihadists and the Fulani herdsmen marauders, regretting they did not have a clue on how to respond to the evasions, killings and foreign occupation of their communities and lands.

He said that because of disunity among them, Christians had become an easy prey to militant jihadists who invade their communities and lands at will.

He said the security agencies were highly compromised with the same high proportion of state security and peace saboteurs which he said often leave Christian communities defenceless, vulnerable with the same high proportion of injustice and become victims of militant violence.

He observed that unhealthy politics and politicking within the boardroom and the church has left the members more divided than ever. Igwesi Pleads with Buhari to Protect Enugu from Herdsmen

A former member of House at Representatives, Chief U. S. A Igwesi has called on President Buhari and other relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of securing lives and properties to immediately put a stop on the continued attack of Fulani Herdsmen on the armless and law abiding indigenes of Enugu State.

Chief Igwesi who represented Nkanu East and west Local Governments in the 5th House of representatives, spoke on the heels of another attack on Attakwu Community, in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State by Fulani Herdsmen which led to the killing of a Catholic Seminarian and the disembowelment of old woman with machetes and injuring many others with all sorts of dangerous weapons.

He condemned the attack and warned that the youths in the area could no longer fold their hands and watch their underserved visitors unleash mayhem, anger and indelible sorrow on them without any provocation.

To him, the Federal Government to stop paying lip services to the unwarranted and dangerous activities of herdsmen.

Chief Igwesi further lamented that what was happening to the people of the state was incongruous with the hospitality nature the State.

He however, insisted that their peaceful and calm disposition should not be taken for granted and advised the Federal Government to prevail on the Fulani herdsmen to either conduct themselves as responsible and law abiding visitors or immediately leave the state to avoid reprisal attack, which would not be good for the country. He however, condoled the immediately family of the slain Catholic seminarian, the people of Attakwu Community, the Enugu Catholic diocese and the entire people and government of Enugu State.