By: Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta and Gbenga Omokhunu
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dr Supo Ayokunle, yesterday said the killings and bloodshed across the country is without comparison in Nigeria’s history. The CAN leader, who is also the President of Nigerian Baptist Convention, spoke in Sagamu, Ogun State, in his sermon at the 13th annual New Year Thanksgiving and Memorial service organised by former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel.
He advised Nigerians to desist from politicising the killings and urged them to close ranks and prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration to take decisive steps to arrest the situation. The service, which took place at Abraham’s Tabernacle, Sagamu,was attended by prominent traditional rulers, eminent personalities and political bigwigs.
Ayokunle lamented the almost routine clashes between herdsmen and farmers in some parts of the country, saying without peace, the nation would not experience genuine progress and development. Ayokunle said: “Things are not working in the best way we have thought of. This is a very difficult time in the history of Nigeria, especially the continuous bloodshed. Communities decimated and human beings killed like chickens.
“The way it is happening now, it has almost not happened before. It is so barbaric, so unbelievable that in a nation with government, things like that will continue to happen with reckless abandon. It is so unacceptable.
“We have been speaking about it. It is not a matter of politics, you don’t play politics with the lives of human beings. We have no other life to live. So, all of you (Nigerians) have to be praying that our government is going to do the best and what is right so that this nation can experience peace because without peace, there won’t be progress.”
He urged politicians to respect and heed the admonition of the clerics.
He said: “We are the conscience of the nation. Politicians need to humble themselves when we speak to them. It is because we look for the good of this nation. Not everything we say to you, you will want to hear. Not everything will be palatable but we are responsible to God and to all these people, we are accountable.
“The life of every individual is very important. And God has created each person to live his life to His glory. Nobody can give life and nobody has the right to take it. Therefore, beloved people of God, let us say no to the evil in our midst. It is not a matter of politics. It is happening to some people now, who knows the next person? I pray that evil will not swallow us up.”
Ayokunle, who revealed that yesterday (Sunday) marked the end of the one-week national prayer declared by CAN, appealed to Christians to donate to the association’s relief fund for victims of ethno-religious crises.
In his remarks, Daniel said his experience during the campaign for national chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had further opened his eyes to different perspectives of the challenges confronting the country.
He, however, pointed out that Nigerians must have the spirit of thanksgiving irrespective of the prevailing challenges.
In Abuja, the President of the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), Apostle Nyeneime Andy urged the President to end killings by herdsmen in some states.
Nyeneime gave the advice in his address after he was elected.
Other elected officers are: Vice President, Pastor Adegbegi Ayodeji, General Secretary, Abel Ogwuche, Treasurer, Ekom Lydia and Peter Galdzana as Assistant secretary.
He urged Buhari to involved Christian youths in all his plans to bring about peace in the country.
The YOWICAN leader expressed sadness the way at which youths are engaged negatively to perpetrate violence during elections, adding that he will soon tour all the 37 states of the federation to admonish the youth on the need to shun violence and reject being used as political thugs during the forthcoming 2019 elections.