We Need Inter-Religious Dialogue to Prevent War, Says CAN President, Okoh

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Newly elected President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, has said he and the new team will explore more avenues of dialogue with their Muslim counterparts to resolve contending issues so as to avert looming conflict.

Okoh, who spoke in an interview shortly after he took over the mantle of leadership from the former CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, during a ceremony at the Christian Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, yesterday, said that he believed in dialogue and that Nigerians have to adopt dialogue to resolve issues.

“I will use my experience as someone who has been in CAN for the past 20 years. I committed to ensuring religious dialogue with the Muslims. We need dialogue now in order to avoid war. Let us talk now so that we can actually avoid war. We don’t have a choice, we have to keep talking even in the midst of all the confusion, we will continue to dialogue to increase the mutual understanding we have for one another and Nigeria will be much better,” he said. 

On insecurity and the current public apprehension over safety of lives amongst residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Okoh said the association still trusts the capacity of the security agencies to arrest the situation.

Okoh, who spoke to journalists at the Christian Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, said the high level of insecurity was a source of major concern to Nigerians.

“The high level of insecurity in the country is a source of concern, but as Christians we remain confident that we have the presence of God who rules in the affairs of men. We believe that God will prosper the efforts of genuine officers who are working day and night to ensure that there is peace in Nigeria.

 “You don’t make your point by sounding violent all the time. We will engage government and security agencies and I will ensure that any policy that would be implemented by CAN would be based on the new constitution handed over to me,” he said.

Okoh also said that he is going to reach out to all Christians and ensure that all are carried along in the running of the affairs of CAN.

According to his profile, Okoh was born on November 12, 1963 in Kano to Christian parents. He is a native of Ndoni in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria.

He is married to Ngozi and they are blessed with four children. Archbishop Okoh is a product of the famous Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha. 

In 1988, he graduated from the University of Port Harcourt in the Second Class Upper Division in Political Science and Education.

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