Christian Group Urges CAN to Sanction Members Fueling Insecurity
By Ibrahim Lapinni
A religious pressure group, Christians Without Borders (CWB), has called on the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to sanction members purportedly perpetuating insecurity in the country.
The group said the idea of promoting hate speeches from the pulpit was fast becoming a trend among ordained men of God these days, a development it said is bothersome.
CWB also knocked CAN for allegedly maintaining silence by failing to caution its members and pastors who, according to it, are in the habit of promoting hate speeches and making provocative statements from sacred altars.
“Not even an ordinary condemnatory statement has been issued by CAN to denounce such hate sermons,” the group’s president, Elder Simon Ainoko, lamented at a press conference on Tuesday.
Elder Ainoko said the group was also uncomfortable with the recent demand for the removal of service chiefs by the leadership of CAN led by its National President, Reverend Samson Ayokunle during a visit to President Muhammedu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He bemoaned that the current leadership of the Christian body was gradually deviating from the dream of the founding fathers of the association who were apolitical.
CWB however charged the body to sanction any member or pastor caught making inflammatory comments that could unsettle the peace of the nation.
His words, “The Concerned Christian Forum is uncomfortable with some of the issues raised with Mr. President at the visit by the CAN leadership. By our interpretation, some of the views canvassed by CAN have partisan flavor, which we have reason to believe are unhealthy for the Body of Christ.
“CAN is expected to be neutral and impartial on the affairs of Nigeria, especially sensitive issues. We suffered greatly in recent history, when the immediate past leadership of CAN dragged the Body of Christ into partisan politics. One of the repercussions was that the Roman Catholic Church, one of the major blocs, suspended its membership of CAN because of the apparent embarrassment the partisan indulgence caused Christians in Nigeria. We cannot afford a relapse into this era of disunity and lack of cohesion within the Body of Christ, hence the need for caution.
“We do not think, it is appropriate for CAN to dabble into how Mr. President should appoint his security chiefs or how long they should serve in that capacity. It appreciated the efforts of the Security Chiefs in curtailing the menace of Boko Haram terrorism and other insurgencies.
“For CAN to posture in a manner indicative of indicting the Presidency on such crisis especially in states like Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Zamfara states depreciates the dignity they ought to embody. CAN’s utterances and comments on such sensitive issues should be more of supporting government to enthrone peace and unity.
“Apostle Johnson Suleiman of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, boasted of directing his congregants during the service of Sunday, January 15th, 2017 that “I have told them in the church here, that any Fulani herdsman that just entered by mistake, Kill him, Kill Him. Cut his head. If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen,” and the video went viral on social media.
“And also last year, a Senior pastor with Mountain of Liberation and Miracle Ministries, Mr. Chris Okafor, said this during a church service, “Enough is enough, no Christian must be killed anymore, if you want to kill one Christian, we are going to reply, we will defend ourselves.”
“So, we advise the Body of Christ to be more circumspect in their utterances, least, they be misconstrued as extending support to forces against the progress of Nigeria,” he concluded.