The First-Class Chief of Bokkos local government council of Plateau state, the Saf Ron-Kulere, Da Lazarus Agai, has been reportedly murdered on Monday (18th, July 2016) while returning from his village, Sha.
I have waited since Sunday, July 10, 2016, when the news broke, of the gruesome murder of Mrs Eunice Elisha, an assistant pastor of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Abuja, for the comment and reaction of the President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari, retd., to no avail. The President's silence is ominous, worrisome, unfortunate and disappointing. And after listening to the Commissioner of Police of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Channels television, coupled with the pictorial report of the visitation of the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, to the family of the deceased, it became clearer to me, that the President is deliberately keeping silent, on this cold blooded murder.
In section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, it is stated that "the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government". All Citizens of Nigeria should therefore feel safe in any part of the country that they choose to reside in, irrespective of their faith.
Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution states clearly that "the government of the federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion", signifying clearly, that Nigeria, by law and by the choice of our people, is a secular state.
By section 38(1) of the same Constitution, "every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private), to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance."
It is this section 38(1) that Mrs Eunice Elisha, was relying upon to manifest, propagate and practice her religion, through evangelism, in public. She could therefore not have constituted a threat or a nuisance, to any person or any other religion, especially in Abuja, which is declared and designated by law, as the federal capital territory of Nigeria.
On the same day that life was snuffed out of Mrs Elisha, it was also reported that Fulani herdsmen invaded a community in Benue State and killed over 81 persons. Still, the President has kept mute. The stage-managed killings by the Fulani herdsmen, who are Muslims, have been targeted at predominantly Christian settlements.
The worrisome dimension of the President's silence, is more frightening because majority of the people that the President has openly complained did not vote for him in the 2015 presidential elections, are mostly in the South-South and in the South East, who are mostly Christians, in their majority. The States that have been free of any form of attack by Fulani Muslim herdsmen, in the South West, are Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun, all of which are either headed by Muslim governors or controlled by Muslim party leaders.
In Ondo State, where a Christian governor holds sway, chief Olu Falae, has been attacked twice, by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, right in his own farm. In Ekiti State, where a Christian governor holds sway, Muslim Fulani herdsmen, have also attacked farmers, but for the prompt intervention of the governor.
Interestingly, neither the ruling APC nor the opposition PDP, has uttered a word, on the heinous and barbaric murder of Mrs Elisha and indeed the invasion of other Christian communities. They have been busy, as has been customary with politicians, fighting dirty, for the control of our national treasury, through political power.
Neither the Islamic nor the Christian religion preaches violence and bloodshed, but fundamentalists and fanatics of these different religions are unleashed on our people by our leaders, when it is convenient for them to achieve a sinister motive. From all indications therefore, it would seem convenient, for the President to keep sitting upon the blood and death of innocent Christians, who are considered to form the bulk of the critics of his government presently and also in the opposition, politically.
In times past, we have learnt to respect the faith and beliefs of all fellow Nigerians, in demonstration of a single, United and indivisible Nigeria. But that national unity seem to be in apparent peril, under this administration.
Presently, it is alleged that Christian Religious Knowledge, has been removed from the educational curriculum of all the Northern States. It is alleged that there is a pending Bill in the National Assembly, to codify Islamic law as part of the criminal jurisprudence of Nigeria, with universal application in all the states of the federation. The Grazing Bill pending in the National Assembly is targeted at the acquisition of the customary land of the Southern Christian States, for the use and occupation of Muslim Fulani herdsmen. It is alleged that most critical appointments of the present administration have been dominated by Muslims. There are indeed other serious concerns, voiced against the Buhari regime, in relation to religion.
Ordinarily, we should have no concern about the faith or belief of any leader, if and when aberrations, such as happened to Mrs Elisha in Abuja occur, the leader is quick to speak and act, in genuine condemnation and detestation of same. But our President has been silent, and indeed uncomfortably silent, in all of these attacks.
The President is very well aware of the effect of faith and religion, on our national life. Thus in 2011 when he sought to rule Nigeria, General Buhari picked Pastor Tunde Bakare, a vocal Christian, as his running mate. And in order to garner more votes in 2015, General Buhari chose Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, a provincial pastor in The Redeemed Christian Church of God, and close confidant of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, leader of the biggest Pentecostal church in Nigeria, as his running mate.
It is therefore a great disservice to the loyalty of Osinbajo and indeed all his supporters, for the President to openly ignore the barbaric and cold blooded murder of Mrs Elisha, who is also a pastor in the same church of his Vice-President, which occurred right in the domain of the President, in Abuja. No statement, no visitation, no condemnation. It is indeed ominous, especially in an administration that rules through body language.
It is bad enough for the people to be complaining that their leader is clueless about how to run his government, it is painful enough when a leader openly reneges upon his campaign promises, to the detriment of his own integrity, it is hurting enough when a leader runs the economy aground and is implementing anti-people policies, that impose hardship and suffering on the people; but it becomes saddening, when the leader is openly insensitive to bloodshed and violence, perpetrated on the strength of the faith of that leader. General Buhari must speak loudly and act decisively, against any form of religious intolerance, if that is the only dividend, that they will get, for their votes and support for him.
It is on the strength of all the above that I call on the President to urgently visit the family of the Elishas, that the President should personally visit and console with facilities of the communities that have so far been decimated, devastated and wrecked by Fulani herdsmen, in demonstration of the unity and secularity of Nigeria.
Nigerians love themselves and would love to dwell in a country united in faith and religious practices. I therefore urge the President not to destroy that unity and togetherness, with his seeming preference for religious fanaticism. If previous administrations have done this for their selfish and ulterior purposes, it behoves on the present government of change, to depart from this inglorious and divisive practice.
Press Release from Mr Ebun Olu Adegboruwa.
PRESS STATEMENT BY CAN
The National leadership and the entire members of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, have received with rude shock and disbelief the report of yet another religious hatred motivated gruesome murder of a dedicated 42-year-old Christian mother of seven children, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, who on Saturday 9th July, 2016, was brutally killed while doing Christian evangelism.
Mrs. Eunice Elisha was murdered in Kubwa area of Abuja, FCT, in the early hours of the day. Her neck was slashed and she was also stabbed in the stomach. About a month ago in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, a 74 year old Christian was murdered at Wambai market due to an altercation with a Muslim man who came to the front of her shop to perform ablution. Her offence was that she objected to the Islamic washing rite in front of her shop.
Just last week a clergyman of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Reverend Zakariya was killed by attackers suspected to be Fulani Herdsmen in Obi LGA of Nasarawa state. They attacked him on his farm, cut off his arms and legs, then they chopped his head with a machete. Another fresh but sad news reaching us is that of the Fulani herdsmen militia that is back on rampage killing 81 people in multiple attacks in Logo and Ukum local government areas of Benue state in central Nigeria.
In recent times, there have been multiple cases of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on various Christian communities, all over the nation. In the South East and in the South-South zones, there have been gruesome attacks on IPOB members and on Christian communities in the Niger Delta. All these are in addition to the relentless attacks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and southern Borno.
The Christian Association of Nigeria commiserates with the families affected by these mindless orgies of death and destruction as well as with the entire Christian community in Nigeria. We pray that God in His mercy shall comfort and strengthen the families of all the Nigerians affected in these unwarranted murders unleashed upon the nation by religious extremists.
The recurring decimal of violence and murder of innocent Nigerian citizens on the basis of religious intolerance demands specific and relevant response from all concerned citizens in the country more so when the government in power seems to have adopted an attitude of lukewarm response to the evils being perpetrated in Nigeria in the name of religion.
The discrimination against non-Muslims in Nigeria under the Buhari Administration is assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve.
You will agree with me that with these happenings and the lukewarm attitude by the authorities concern toward putting an end to it, Nigeria is dancing a macabre dance of death, both for the nation and for its citizens. It is time to stop the beat and let common sense guide the nation out of the present quagmire. A stitch in time saves nine.
Before the situation escalates into an unmanageable national crisis, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is calling on the authorities both at the states and federal to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice if the confidence of Christians on this government must be maintained.
The unprovoked attacks on Christians and the authority’s inaction is becoming unbearable and may not be tolerated anymore, inasmuch as we will continue to call on Christians to remain tolerant and law abiding, it is becoming inevitable to also call on them to buckle up and be ready to defend themselves against these incessant unprovoked and mindless attacks.
Rev. Dr. Musa Asake
General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
10th July, 2016
In response to the growing conviction in the nation that the Nigerian Church should hold a Solemn Assembly nationwide, to repent on behalf of Nigeria and seek God’s divine intervention on account of the multiple crisis afflicting the Church and the nation, His Eminence, the President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has approved that a national Solemn Assembly should take place from Friday 27th May – Sunday 29th May, 2016.
The intercessory community in Nigeria, represented by the Wailing Women International, Intercessors for Nigeria (IFN), and NIGERIA PRAYS, are deeply committed and involved in the call for the Solemn Assembly. Presently, Intercessors for Nigeria (IFN) has embarked on 120-day prayer and fasting for Nigeria.
All the Church leaders are requested to inform and mobilize all the Christian assemblies within their spheres of influence to actively participate in the Solemn Assembly. For as many as are able, the Solemn Assembly weekend should be accompanied with FASTING. The details are as follows:
Friday 27th May, 2016 - Prayer Vigil for Repentance and Divine intervention.
Saturday 28th May, 2016 - 5pm – 6pm Prayers in homes, home cell groups or fellowships.
Sunday 29th May, 2016 - All Christian assemblies nationwide should preach on REPENTANCE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS during the worship service. This should be accompanied with at least 15 minutes devoted to prayers for Nigeria and the Body of Christ.
Sunday 29th May, 2016 - 4pm – 6pm Solemn Assembly Worship Service in all Christian Assemblies in Nigeria. FCT CAN shall be required to organize the Solemn Assembly on the National Altar at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
Kindly give the Solemn Assembly your highest urgent attention. May the Lord hear our prayers and heal our land.
Rev. Dr. Musa Asake
General Secretary, CAN
PLEASE FIND BELOW THE PRAYER POINTS FOR THE VIGIL ON FRIDAY, PRAYER ON SATURDAY AND SCHEDULE OF PROGRAM FOR THE SOLEMN ASSEMBLY ON SUNDAY 4pm.
A CLARION CALL TO PRAYERS
This is a call to prayer from all Churches, Intercessors and lovers of Nigeria. A one-man army cannot give us the success we need. Therefore, we need corporate intercession. Our nation, Nigeria is under threat as a result of Insurgency, insecurity to life and property. As we know, the spiritual controls the physical and time is of the essence. Join us to cry unto the Lord asking Him for mercy upon our Land and people. “But where sin abounds, there the grace of God abounds’… the depth of our helplessness is actually the ground for God to manifest Himself again.”
Let’s pray using Psalm 100, 103, 105: 1-5:
Let us begin by giving thanks to God for giving us a country we can call our own. With all the things we criticize about Nigeria, it is still the only country and homeland we have.
1. Thank the Lord for the size and abundant resources of Nigeria – we are so blessed with rich human and material resources. Nigeria is a great Nation under God.
2. Thank the Lord for the redemptive gifts of Nigeria and pray that the Lord will help us fulfil our mandate as a nation.
3. Thank God that despite the ethnic diversity and the political differences, Nigeria is still together as one nation.
4. Thank God for not giving Nigeria as a prey to the enemy, pray using psalm: 30: 1-5, 124: 1-8.
5. Let’s bless the LORD, and forget not all His benefits.
6. Thank God for forgiving us all our iniquities. He has redeemed us from destructions. God has shown us His loving kindness. Praise God for being merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities (Ezra 9:13), for the fact that God spoke to us means that He has not forsaken us. Let’s give Him thanks for He knows our frame; and remembers that we are dust (Isa 29:16). “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should see the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:26:27).
7. Let’s thank God for the entity and destiny of Nigeria.
Praise God for the riches he has endowed us with. There is no nation like Nigeria and no nation will be like her. Nigeria is a Great Nation and it is one nation under God.
Our ethnic diversity should be a blessing not a curse. Praise God for the human and material resources in Nigeria
REPENTANCE: THE ISSUES
Ps 66:18; Isa 1:15; James 4:3; Joel 1:13-20; Dan 9:4-11
Using the following Scriptures: Psalm 51:1-18; Neh 1:4-8, Ps 66:18, Daniel 9:3-19,Joel 1: 13-20; 2: 15 -18. Let us pray to the Lord for our nation Nigeria and ask Him to forgive our sins and show us mercy
We have sinned against the Lord our God in the following ways:
1. By breaking His commandments and worshipping idols – Exodus 20:3-5.
2. By rebelling against Him in disobedience and practicing witchcraft, sorcery, etc. Pray using 1 Samuel 15:22-23, Isaiah 58: 1-10
3. By our constant complaints, ingratitude and murmuring against our Leaders – Exodus 16:2-8.
4. By killing, maiming, kidnapping and causing much pain to innocent people
5. By oppressing the poor, cheating the widows and taking away the rights of the orphans. Pray using Psalm 146:7-9.
6. By fighting against each other and causing avoidable crisis.
7. By unleashing acts of terror, violence, vandalism and hatred against each other.
8. By being dishonest, deceitful, corrupt and wicked.
9. By not being patriotic, bad-mouthing and cursing our nation. Yet this is one nation that God has blessed so abundantly.
10. By the atrocious and mindless destruction being unleashed by Islamic insurgency i.e. Boko Haram, the unprovoked violence and unwarranted invasion of innocent and peaceful communities by Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors.
11. By our attempts at secession, we must repent for the attempt by Biafra to break away from Nigeria, the Bakassi crisis, the militancy in the Niger Delta.
12. By our complacency – we have allowed evil to take over parts of our country. Because the Church has refused to strategize and act proactively, the agents of Satan are almost taking over this country.
13. By our disunity we have made God weak. Therefore we must repent of the sin of strife and disunity in the nation. Pray using Psalm 133; Amos 3:3; John 17:21.
14. Repent in any way God’s standard has been compromised in the Church.
15. Ask God to show us mercy for praying and looking for rewards from men.
16. The root cause of deep distress in all nations of the world today is disobedience to the pattern of worship in Heaven, despising the altar of the Living God attracts curses, punishment and death. Pray that God will forgive us for this gross sin.
17. Let’s repent of every act of wickedness, rebellion, iniquity and departing from God’s precepts and from judgment (Ps 106:6; Isa 53:6).
18. Repent over strange cultures and idolatry in our nation.
19. Cry out to God to show us mercy and deliver us from bloodshed and its consequences. ( Deut. 21:1-8)
20. Repent from the abomination of kidnapping elders/fathers/pregnant women and children and rape in Nigeria.
21. Repent and ask God for mercy on misplaced priorities, greed, and covetousness
22. .Repent for aiding and abetting corruption.
23. Cry out and repent for lack of vision and strategic plan.
24. Bring repentance for lack of values and moral strength.
1. Pray for the unity of The Church of Jesus Christ in Nigeria. Ps 133, Genesis 11:6. Acts 3:1, Ephesians: 4: 2-7.
2. Pray and wake up the Church and the mighty men from their seat of complacency. Amos 6:1, Joel 3:9-11, Isaiah 32:9-11
3. Pray against fear. Call forth strength to travail and bring forth. 2Tim 1:7, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 66:7-8
4. Pray that God will raise a voice for the Church in Nigeria.
5. Pray for vision, focus, prophetic direction, wisdom, understanding and the Spirit of excellence.
6. Pray for courage, selflessness, the spirit of sacrifice.
7. Pray for grace in the face of persecution.
8. Pray for visionary and influential leaders that will put strategic plans in place for the Church, such as Nehemiah, Moses, Joseph, Ezra, Deborah etc.
9. Pray and call forth Spiritual Fathers, Role Models and Mentors for the younger generation. 2 Timothy 2:2.
10. Pray and deal with the multiple satanic altars springing up as Churches.
11. Pray that the people who walked in darkness will see a Great light (Isa 9:2a).
12. .Pray that the church should stop politicking and be focus.
13. Cut off every accusing tongue against the church.
14. Pray for sustainability and unity of the church.
THE YOUTH Psalm 144:12-15.
1. Pray that the potentials in our youths will be harnessed and properly channelled.
2. Pray against the spirit of provocation, restiveness, violence, lawlessness and disorder that will lead to wastage of lives.
3. JUDGEMENT ON THE WICKED. Declare Psalm 149:6-9, Psalm 74.
4. Pray against encroachment of the adversary
5. Pray and frustrate all evil plans in the pipeline they will hear a rumour and turn backwards. Job 5:12-14, 2 Kings 19:7.
6. Release the judgment of God on the wicked. Psalm 94.
The Bibles says that, “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed are thou, O land, when they king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness” (Isa 3:4-5, 12; Eccl 10:16:17).
Let’s bring repentance on behalf of our Spiritual and political leaders.
1. Corruption, lies, misplaced priorities, mismanagement of our resources.
2. Misappropriation of funds, greed and covetousness.
3. Evil alignment with the nations that oppose God and Israel. Pray using Psalm. 122: 6-9.
4. Stealing from the people and oppressing the people at the same time.
5. Oppressing the weak and not providing relief to the needy displaced persons and handicapped.
BLOODSHED - pray using Deut 21:1-8
We need to repent of blood guilt in the Land.
Blood has polluted and defiled our Land. Let us cry out to the Lord for mercy.
STRIFE AND HATRED
Let us repent of the sins of hatred, strife, bitterness, unforgiveness, rancour and distrust among the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.
NOT USING OUR REDEMPTIVE GIFTS WELL
We need to repent for not using maximally our redemptive gifts in Africa.
General Prayer Focus:
1. There is a demonic influence over the nation. It is either you drive it out or you will compromise.
2. Pray and deal with all demonic altars and satanic systems operating in the country Let the Lord visit with fury and destroy them (Isa 64:1-4; Ps 144:5-6).
3. Ask the Lord to put out the fire of the adversary.
4. Declare that there will be no religious violence in the land.
5. Pray that God will break the staff of the wicked and the sceptre of Rulers (Isa 49:25-26; Isa 51:25).
6. Pray that the wicked will fall into their own net (Ps 141:8-10).
7. Pray that there will be no secession by any group of rebels. Ask the Lord to bring an end to Militancy: Bakassi, Egbesu, the Avenger, Arewa group or Area boys and let it die a natural death in Nigeria.
8. Declare and pronounce death on Boko Haram, their kingpins and sponsors if they do not repent. People are being beheaded, raped and sexual assaulted. Pray that the culprits will not go free.
9. Ask the Lord to raise for our nation leaders that have national interest and sentiments.
10. Break the monopoly of some businesses in Nigeria.
11. Pray that any attempt to devalue our Currency will not stand.
12. There is a principality of death casting its shadow over our nation and people. Pray against it.
13. Pray that God will restrain our youth from evil.
14. .Pray against destruction and the spirit of restiveness, violence, lawlessness and disorder.
15. Break every alliance, treaty or agreement made in any altar of darkness against Nigeria.
16. Cry out, Oh! God frustrate the tokens of lions, make their diviners mad, turn their wise men backward and make their knowledge foolish (Isa 44:24; Ps 33:10; Isa 47:13; 1 Cor 1:27; 2 Sam 15:31; 1 Cor 1:19-20).
17. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders.
18 .Pray God will satisfy us early with His mercy (Ps 90:14).
Let’s pray fervently and plead with the Lord as Ezra , Nehemiah and Daniel did. Pray using Daniel 9:18-19:
Raise a loud lamentation and pray saying:
“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive!
O Lord, pardon us. O Lord, please listen and act!
Lord, please do not delay answer us and take away our reproach for your name sake.
Father, please show us mercy and answer us to preserve and deliver Nigeria,
because a remnant in this nation continually call upon your name.
Thank you, Lord, for hearing and answering our prayers, which we pray to you this season, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!
Thank God for answered prayers and read Psalm 21.
SUPPLEMENTARY PRAYER POINTS TO IFN - 120 Days Prayer Project
1. Is 52.1,11 – Please Lord help me and help all of Your Church to put on beautiful garments of faithfulness and obedient living, to touch no unclean thing – the bribes, immoralities and iniquities of government, schools, business and politics in Nigeria – that the Church may be strong and attract the outpouring of God’s power in the land to heal it, and keep His children safe under the shadow of the Almighty.
2. Is 52.3 – O Lord forgive me and forgive the Church for every way in which we sold ourselves; every way in which we turned our back against you; please forgive and redeem us
3. Is 52.9-10 – make bare Your Holy arm in mighty protection and deliverance of Your children, and in mighty conversion of strategic rebels and unbelievers that will silence opposition, comfort Your children and expand your kingdom.
4. Is 52.5-6,15 – let those who have been rebelling against the Lord in Nigeria be sprinkled, let their kings hear what they never heard before, see what they never saw before, let them no more be able to open their mouths to blaspheme or lift their hands or resources against the Lord to make God’s people howl anymore, but rather humbly submit and serve the Lord.
5. Is 2.2-3 / Mic 4.1-2; Is54.3: Let the Church and God’s people begin to experience such spiritual and material elevation and distinction that unbelievers all over Nigeria voluntarily recognize the supremacy of the way of the Lord and opt to follow Jesus. Pray for compelling attractiveness of the gospel and the way of the Lord.
6. Hab 2.14 “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Lord let the knowledge of your glory cover every nook, cranny and people group of Nigeria as the waters cover the sea.
7. 2 Co 4.6 “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Lord please command light to shine out of every dark place of Nigeria, let all Nigerians – rich and poor, rulers and ruled, North, South, East, West and centre – experience the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face if Jesus Christ.
8. Psalm 2.8 “Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.” By Your power, Almighty God, let no inch of Nigeria and no people group remain without knowledge of the living God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
9. Matt 26.31 “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Lord, as You did to Saul Who became Paul, please confront and conquer the leaders of those Who rebel against You and are killing Your children; spiritually conquer their leaders and let their flock likewise abandon every way of rebellion and follow You the living God.
NATIONWIDE FASTING AND PRAYERS FOR GOD’S MERCY ON THE CHURCH & INTERVENTION IN NIGERIA, MAY 27-29, 2016. THEME: “Return to the LORD your God” – Joel 2.13
PROGRAM FOR FRIDAY MAY 27, NIGHT VIGIL: 10pm – 2am
|10||Opening Hymn:“Spirit Divine Attend Our Prayers” & Opening prayers||10.05pm|
|20||Prayers of thanks for ourselves, families, business/jobs, Nigeria||10.15pm|
|• For Jesus, for the Holy Spirit, for salvation and sanctification|
|• Protection and preservation|
|• Provisions and promotion|
|• For God’s plans, purposes, program for a far better future|
|15||Solemn, consecration Hymns ***||10.35pm|
|30||Repentance for sins, transgressions and iniquities||10.50pm|
|• Personal / Individual|
|• The Church / Body of Christ|
|• Families, Businesses, Groups, Communities, States|
|• Special prayer for Children, Teens & Youth on Children’s Day|
|• Silence before the Lord (minimum 5 minutes)|
|15||Praise & Worship||11.20pm|
|40||The Word & related prayers||11.35pm|
|25||Intercession session 1||12.15am|
|• Thy Kingdom come in Nigeria: Let Jesus increase, everything contrary decrease|
|• Thy will be done: Let righteousness take root and exalt Nigeria|
|• The Church: Let the Church be true light and salt; let there be revival|
|• Open the eyes and hearts of unbelievers to know You, Lord|
|• Raise fresh Pauls from among today’s enemies of the gospel|
|15||Praise & Worship||12.40am|
|25||Intercession session 2||12.55am|
|• Lord, please protect your children, the Church|
|• Oh, Lord, avenge our adversary|
|• Root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant|
|• Good governance, Peace, Prosperity and Progress in Nigeria|
|25||Prayers for participants and their families||1.30am|
|5||Announcements & closing||1.55am|
SOLEMN ASSEMBLY – SUNDAY 4 – 6 PM
NATIONWIDE FASTING AND PRAYERS FOR GOD’S MERCY ON THE CHURCH & INTERVENTION IN NIGERIA, MAY 27-29, 2016. THEME: “Return to the LORD your God” – Joel 2.13
PROGRAM FOR SOLEMN ASSEMBLY, SUNDAY MAY 29: 4pm – 6pm
|5mins||Welcome / Opening prayer||4.00pm|
|5 mins||Opening Hymn: “Thy kingdom come O God”||4.05pm|
|10 mins||Prayers of thanks for ourselves, families, endeavours, Nigeria||4.10pm|
|12 mins||Solemn, consecration Hymns ***||4.20pm|
|10 mins||Repentance for sins, transgressions and iniquities||4.32pm|
|• Help us to be faithful…Let righteousness exalt Nigeria|
|• Open the eyes of the blind, save the lost|
|• Equip the Church to win Nigeria for You, Lord|
|• Lord, please give Nigeria’s leaders wisdom to rule aright|
|• Thank You Lord for 17 years of democracy. By Your power, let it be sustained and get better for the good of Nigerians|
|• Scatter the horns of wickedness…Let peace flood Nigeria|
|10 mins||Praise & Worship||4.52pm|
|25 mins||The Word||5.02pm|
|15 mins||High Praise||5.42pm|
|5 mins||United cry: “Let God Arise (Psm68.1….Let your people not be ashamed (Joel.2.26)”||5.47pm|
|5 mins||Prayers for & blessings unto the participants||5.52pm|
|3 mins||Announcements & closing||5.57pm|
*** SOME HYMNS THAT MAY BE SUITABLE
➢ Approach my soul, the mercy seat
➢ I am Thine O Lord
➢ I need Thee every hour
➢ Nearer my God to Thee
➢ All to Jesus I surrender
➢ Rock of Ages, cleft for me
➢ Thou Whose Almighty Word
➢ Revive Thy work O Lord
➢ My hope is built on nothing less
➢ God our help in ages past
This is the report by CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN ) delegates and NIGERIA CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NCGF) REPRESENTATIVES to the NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (NERDC)
The NERDC team was led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaidu in the company of five Directors of the Council including the Director of Book Publishing and Curriculum Development.
The paper presented was by Prof. Charles Adisa and Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies. The Delegation was led by Dr. Sam Itina, National President of the NCGF and other members of the delegation were:
1. Prof . A Adisa (NCGF)
2. Dr. Mrs Ejiro Iwuoha (NCGF)
3. Pst. Onyenachi Nwaegeruo(NCGF)
4. Dr. Josiah Kantiyok (NCGF)
1. Bishop Jude Arogundade (Catholic Church) (CAN) - (ABSENT)
2. Prof. Bishop Funmi Adesanya-Davies (Protestant Church) (CAN)
3. Dr. Mrs. Ofoegbu(Catholic Church) (CAN)
4. Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun (Catholic Church) (CAN)
TEAM KEY POINTS PRESENTED AT NERDC WERE:
Following a brief introduction of the NCGF and CAN, obvious lapses in the new curriculum which included the list below were presented:
1. Inciting/Derogatory statements which attack the foundation of Christianity. For example, that Jesus was not the Son of God, Jesus was not crucified and did not resurrect and the supremacy of Quran over the Holy Bible, supremacy of Muhammad over Jesus Christ, etc.
2. Textbooks in print that combine Islamic Religious Knowledge and Christian Religious knowledge in a single textbook thus exposing children to other religion which negates the principles of our constitution.
3. Absence of approved list of textbooks as an appendix in the curriculum/ NERDC website
4. Watered down content of the various subjects, as a result, creating an omnibus textbook.
5. Making religious studies compulsory without the adequate provision of Teachers in those subjects. The implications are that a Christian student in the core north will be forced to take IRK and ditto a Muslim student in the South. In addition, a student that refuses to take the subject as a result of conflict with his/her religion is short changed of marks for that compulsory subject and may have his educational career truncated.
6. Absence of subjects like History, Geography and Economics in the new curriculum.
FACTS AND FINDINGS AT NERDC
1. That the five (5) subjects: Religious Studies (CRS/IRS), Civic Education, Social Studies and Security are combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum is sacrosanct.
2. NERDC asserts that CAN was part and parcel of the stakeholders invited to air her views and input on the development of the New Curriculum. However the NGGF has never been invited and represented and are welcome from now on.
3. It was acknowledged that the Curriculum on Religion and National Values needs to be reviewed as the Christians and Muslims are of the same viewpoints that the New Curriculum is unacceptable.
4. Curriculum for Religion and National Value is assuredly for the three Basics (Lower, Middle and Upper) of the BEC 9-year Program.
i.e 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9. (Thus, there are 3 curriculum booklets)
5. That the design was that Text books for CRS and IRS are to be separated by Publishers as different Text books but they are written together in the same Curriculum Booklet with Civic Education, Social Studies and Security.
6. That the status of the Subject Religious Studies is Compulsory is sacrosanct and a pupil must offer either but not both.
7. That NO Publisher's Textbook has been approved by NERDC yet. So ALL BOOKS in the market for now are FAKE and fictitious and should be checkmated immediately.
8. That CAN could bring professionals to Review the Content of the said present Curriculum under assessment - (I volunteered to do the review
with Prof. Charles Adisa and it was approved.)
9. That CAN could participate fully in the production and review of yet to
be accepted /approved Textbooks - I also volunteered.
10. That they will endeavour to list out the finally approved books right
in the Curriculum and we can make recommendations.
11. The Executive Secretary approved the team as partners in progress from hence.
12. All participants we well pleased at the end of the discussions.
RESPONSE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
• NERDC will be willing to collaborate with groups like the NCGF (based on their educational endowments)
• Religious study is compulsory so as to provide a moral framework for adherence to the teachings of civic education, social studies and security education.
• He disowned the publishers and the books currently in the market but WAS UNABLE TO GIVE US THE NAME OF ANY APPROVED TEXTBOOK MEANT FOR THE SUBJECT- AFTER 8 YEARS OF PUBLICATION OF THIS NEW CURRICULUM.
• He accepted the recommendation of listing the approved books in the appendix of the curriculum as well as on their website
• NERDC will not be able to exercise oversight function on what the schools are using, rather schools should verify from NERDC, the books that have been approved
• NERDC is in the process of achieving a regulatory statue like NAFDAC to enable them prosecute publishers that are in deviance of the standard and principles of the curriculum
• Accepted the need for further public hearing, sensitization and review of the new curriculum.
• He insisted that it is the responsibility of government at various levels to provide Teachers for the subjects, and where this is not observed, parents should sue the government and demand for the requisite teachers.
• Publishers should be supervised so that the textbooks in print are a reflection of the principles and standard of the curriculum.
• List of recommended textbooks should be incorporated as an appendix in the curriculum. In addition, these lists should be freely available on the NERDC website.
• Curriculum developers should ensure that the content conforms with the curriculum and our constitutional provision.
• Curriculum developers should be conscious of the religious and cultural sensibility of Nigerians.
Now that all the cards are on the table, as a minister and a professional who had lectured and still lectures in a University of Education in the past thirty years, I wish to recommendation as follows:
1. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS should stand alone, as individual subjects on subject listing as it was before.
2. Civic Education, Social Studies and Security should be combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum as a subject i.e.
3. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamiRS should be made compulsory, only for the religion adherent.
4. NERDC should produce separate curriculum booklets of IRS and CRS as it was before, statuesque ante, as it is done with the Teachers manual.
5.Christian RK Curriculum must be reviewed immediately with inputs from our old CRK Curriculum in the 3 BEC of the 9-years.
6. Islamic RK should be reviewed by editing off all grievously offensive phrases/frivolous expressions about Christianity in the 3 Basics Education Curriculum because the material is in the public domain and we Christians said nothing about Islam which existed 600 AD after the death of Christ in our curriculum.
7. Correction to the Curriculum and the Implementation of the Text Books must conform with the Constitution, National Policy on Education, as well as the Cultural, Social and Religious Values of the Republic
8. All publishers of the FAKE Books should be written for discussions, that the dissemination of the Books must stop immediately. The Church should seek court injunction immediately to enforce this.
9. We need to work with such and some other publishers to peacefully resolve the issue if they so desire and to ensure that their reviewed books on CRS would be acceptable to us.
10. NERDC should be advised to always produce separate textbooks for ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS and supervise their publishers to ensure the books are produced separately
12. CAN and NCGF should urgently set up a committee to review the content of the present CRS to reflect the true teachings of Christianity as the current curriculum is inferior to the previous curriculum.
13. It is necessary to adequately mobilize and sensitize the churches to pray about the challenges posed by this curriculum to our faith.
14. If the recommendations are not acceptable and implemented by NERDC, CAN and NCGF should consider other actions and litigation.
1. We recommend separation of the two (2) Curriculum in same booklet for the three (3) Primary Basics: If they refuse the separation in the Curriculum as in the text; just like Christian children, Muslim children would also have access to the Christian curriculum and this could be evangelical as light is not afraid of darkness.
2. CRS/IRS OPTIONAL/ COMPULSORY: Making CRS/IRS a Compulsory Subject is advantageous, but it must be separately compulsory as the religion of the pupil, parent or guardian that is Christians must offer CRK and Muslims IRS. We should remember it was also compulsory in the Old Curriculum.
On behalf of the team, I hereby express our gratitude to CAN for affording us this rare opportunity to serve in our Lord's Vineyard.
Our God reigns! Jesus is Lord!! Praise the Lord!!! Amen.
Amb. (Bishop Prof.) Mercy Funmi Adesanya-Davies
The National Secretariat of CAN has issued a rebuttal of an interview which PUNCH Newspaper falsely claimed it had with the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, his Eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. In refuting the malicious publication titled “I’m shocked when I read negative things about Jonathan – Oritsejafor” by PUNCH Newspaper on 10th April, 2016, the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, wrote to Church leaders that “the President of CAN did NOT make the statement credited to him as he did not grant the interview in question. The PUNCH journalist, Nosa Akenzua, is under strict obligation to explain how he came about the interview that he credited to the President of CAN.”
BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM (NCEF), AT ABUJA ON THURSDAY MARCH 17, 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,
A few weeks ago, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) issued a statement titled THE NEED TO PRESERVE THE PEACE AND UNITY OF NIGERIA. Of concern to the Christian Elders is the deteriorating state of national security, the free fall state of the economy, the inflammation of religious tension through the misappropriation of state powers, a worrisome foreign policy that is evidently skewed in favor of Islamization, as well as the increasing impunity of the Fulani herdsmen, amongst many other issues.
The National Christian Elders Forum was established by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to make statements in defense of Christianity in Nigeria, as well as promote peace and unity among Christians and Nigerians, as a whole. The NCEF is made up of Christian Elders from the six geo-political zones in the country.
2. NIGERIA: THE BEGINNING
In retrospect, the amalgamation of 1914 produced a country but not a nation. There was an amalgamation of two Protectorates but there was no integration of the Ethnic Nationalities and this created serious fault lines that still exist today. The unity of the two protectorates was not part of the British Agenda. Rather, Britain sought to maintain a hold on Nigeria through a policy of divide and rule.
In effect, Nigeria remains a country made up of two races pulling in opposite directions. There is the indigenous African race tilting towards a Westernized ideology and the Arab race, made up of Fulanis, Hausas, and Kanuris in favor of adopting the Arabian culture.
At independence in 1960, the impression was created that “all” Nigerians opted for Liberal Democracy as the national ideology. As the years progressed, it became clear that some citizens of the Arab stock were more in favor of a system of rule of which an “important ingredient is the application of the Muslim Law”.
While paying lip service to democracy, many of the political, religious, traditional and military leaders from the Muslim North were insidiously working to undermine democracy and promote Sharia, which is based on Islam and is patterned after the Arabian culture, to which the North has been exposed to for hundreds of years.
Operating under the Islamic practice of “Taqiyya”, which permits a Muslim to deceive an “infidel” in order to gain the mastery over him, leaders of the Muslim North surreptitiously “smuggled” Nigeria into OIC in 1986 and kept it out of public knowledge for ten years until 1996, when Sultan Dasuki confirmed to the Pope that Nigeria is a member of OIC.
The Islamization Agenda was solidified in the period 1975 – 1999 under the military rule, of which majority of the military heads of state were Muslims from the North. The Muslim Military leaders favored an Islamic model of ideology because it promoted dictatorship. They set up an “invisible” government which operates behind the scene in the Presidency and constantly undermines liberal democracy while promoting Sharia. The “invisible government” is still active till today.
The invasion of the nation by Islamic terrorism and smuggling of Sharia into the 1999 Constitution, thereby creating a dual ideology for the nation, are reflections of the activities of the “invisible government”. Boko Haram, membership of Nigeria in OIC, Islam in Africa Organization, the D8 group, as well as compromise of Section 10 of the Constitution on separation of state and religion, are all interwoven conspiracies to abolish Liberal Democracy in Nigeria and declare Sharia as the national ideology and the nation as an Islamic state.
3. CONFLICT OF IDEOLOGIES
There is the need to stress that at the root of the insecurity, distrust and mutual suspicion in Nigeria is the conflict between Liberal Democracy and Sharia ideology. Nigeria was established as a nation upon the principles and practice of Liberal Democracy. According to the Willink’s Commission Report of 1958:
“The whole structure of the proceedings leading to independence is based on the belief that Nigeria meant to follow the road of liberal democracy and parliamentary government and to base part of the structure on the opposite assumption is to invite government to do their worst. But if the road is followed (liberal democracy and parliamentary government), votes will count and in the last resort it is votes that will win fair treatment for minorities”
Bearing in mind the huge ethnic, cultural, religious, and racial diversities in Nigeria, it was deemed necessary that an all accommodating ideology would be required to ensure justice, equality, and fairness for all the divergent groups in the nation. Unfortunately, a group known as “Islamists” has been working surreptitiously over the years to supplant Liberal Democracy with Sharia as the “source of legislation” in Nigeria, over and above the Constitution.
The present day state of global Islam makes it imperative for a distinction to be made between Islam and Islamism. While Islam is a religion, Islamism, otherwise called “political Islam”, “is a set of ideologies that holds that Islam is not only a religion but a political system”. As a political system, Islamists insist that Islam is meant to dominate the environment in which it is practiced. In a sharply divergent society like Nigeria, any attempt to implement the principles of Islamism portends great danger for the nation.
The various Military Governments of Nigeria, starting from the regime of Murtala Muhammed in 1975, did not hide their preference for the imposition of Islamism upon Nigeria. The Military changed the status of Nigeria and commenced attempts to make the nation an Islamic nation first by making it an OIC observer and thereafter to full membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Later, Nigeria was made a member of the Islamic D8.
It is clear to the NCEF that since the amalgamation of 1914, the Islamists have been in control of northern Nigeria, while the majority of Christians were in the South. The military government of General Babangida merely extended Islamism to the South of Nigeria by Nigeria’s full membership in the OIC. Thus, in 1981 the race to make Nigeria an Islamic state was accelerated.
Evidently, this ideological competition between Liberal Democracy and Islamism has not helped Nigeria concerning development, progress, peace and security and the reason can be found in the conclusions of several thinkers that Liberal Democracy and Sharia are not compatible. For Islamists of a radical disposition, like the influential Egyptian activist Sayyid Qutb, “democracy and Islam are simply incompatible”.
The British, in their characteristic divide and rule policy, left Nigeria with democracy in the hands of Islamists, knowing full well that democracy and Islamism cannot peacefully co-habit. The challenge facing Nigeria today is how to resolve this apparent contradiction that has created a conflict of ideologies for the nation. If this trend continues, Nigeria is sadly being moved into an arc of conflict and that is why we are calling for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be established by law.
It would appear that the Islamists, (otherwise known as the “invisible government”) who used to rule by proxy in all the previous administrations, are now fully entrenched in Government. Rather than pretend that all is well with the country, Nigeria needs to examine its past critically and reconcile all the ethnic, religious, and other groups in Nigeria. Presently, the Islamists control the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
It is instructive to note that many Arab nations have found Islamism an extreme way of religious expression and have taken steps to ban it. Examples are Egypt and Tunisia. After the Arab Spring revolution, both nations voted Islamists into power and within a few months, staged another revolution to oust them. Even the United Arabs Emirates is on record to have denounced the extremism associated with Islamism when it alerted Britain on the dangers of giving oxygen to what Britain does not understand. It is therefore a cause for concern that in Nigeria, a multi cultural and multi religious nation, Islamism should be thriving.
As a principle, Islamists “loathe” democracy believing that it is a “man-made” law that must give way for “God made” law, which is Sharia. Islamists, as opposed to Muslims that practice Islam as a religion, will go to every possible length to eradicate democracy in any society so that Sharia can be introduced. Nevertheless, Islamists pay lip service to democracy and claim to promote and support it. Nigerians should understand that such claims by Islamists of supporting democracy are mere pretensions and a display of “TAQIYYA” (deliberate deception) because they work surreptitiously underground to undermine and destroy democracy.
4. ISSUES OF CONCERN
In the build up to the 2015 elections, majority of Nigerians expressed great hope that there would be CHANGE in the nation. However, ten months after the new government was sworn into office, credible apprehension can be expressed given the policy direction of the new administration. We hope that the buildup to these policies do not result in full blown Sharia which President Muhammadu Buhari had promised Muslims in Nigeria.
A number of worrisome issues readily come to mind:
a) The apparent disregard for the Constitution, by Mr. President in many instances. For example, N900 billion was released in bailout package for states without Appropriation, the government was run for five months without a Cabinet, international commitment are being made without recourse to the National Assembly. All these are acts violating the Constitution.
b) Including Nigeria in the Saudi Arabia Military Coalition of “Muslim/Arab” nations would appear that the Foreign Policy thrust of the present administration is to make Nigeria a satellite state of Saudi Arabia. The strengthening of the nation’s democracy and security for all should remain the greatest priority of Government. This we see to have been negated by the President’s fiat/unilateral decision to enlist Nigeria in the 34 nations Muslim/Arab coalition. Given the emotive and sensitive nature of this unilateral Executive decision, it should have been handled by Mr. President in line with our democratic culture through popular discussion and participation by the citizenry, or at the very least, through the National Assembly.
c) Attempt to fund deficit in the 2016 Budget through issuance of Sukkuk loan which is a “Sharia compliant loan.” Nigeria is not a Sharia compliant nation.
d) The consideration of establishing “free visa” arrangement with Islamic D8 nations. These countries are: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, and of course, Nigeria.
e) The apparent Islamization of key security positions in the country.
f) The apparent disdain and contempt of Mr. President for Christians in Nigeria as demonstrated during his interview on Al – Jazeera on the objection of Christians to Nigeria’s involvement in the Saudi led Military Coalition to fight ISIS.
We wish to remind Mr. President that he was brought to power through the votes of Nigerians, Christians inclusive. Mr. President should kindly remember that the over 50% non-Muslims in Nigeria did not vote for the nation to transmute into a Sharia compliant nation. Mr. President assured Nigerians that he is “a convert” to democracy but we are disturbed by the direction of his administration.
We are aware that there are presently Islamists in Government prepared to execute the Islamization Agenda. Any nation in which Islamists believe that they are sufficiently strong to exercise influence rarely experience peaceful cohabitation amongst the divergent groups within it. This is the current situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan. Islamism thrives on injustice, inequality and unfairness. We urge Nigerians to remain circumspect so that the Islamists do not drag the nation down the path of destruction.
5. KADUNA STATE RELIGIOUS BILL
We wish to express tremendous shock at the proposed Kaduna State Religious Bill. The proposed Bill contravenes Section 38 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. We should remind the Government of Kaduna State that religion is personal and no one has the right to legislate on how individuals worship. We call on the Kaduna State Governor to retrace his steps from this ill-advised venture.
ABDUCTION AND FORCEFUL MARRIAGE OF UNDERAGED CHRISTIAN GIRLS
We are saddened by recent exposure in the country of serial cases of forceful abduction of underage, forceful marriage, marriage without parental consent of the Christian girls and their forceful conversion to Islam. We condemn in totality this act of violation of the Human Rights of these girls and it is a degradation of our national values.
We are also amazed that the Senate failed to pass the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill into law. We strongly recommend that this Bill should be re-introduced and passed into law urgently.
6. RAMPAGE OF FULANI HERDSMEN
We are dismayed by the inaction of the Federal Government to the carnage and destruction caused by the Fulani herdsmen against legitimate native land owners and farmers, across the country. The most recent case occurred in Agatu area of Benue State in February 2016. According to media report by eye witnesses, over 300 Nigerians were allegedly massacred by the herdsmen and many communities were devastated in the attacks. It is most shocking that till today, there has been no prosecution of any of these marauders. For years, the Fulani herdsmen have been murdering innocent Nigerians with impunity. The murderous escapades of the Fulani herdsmen has gained international notoriety to the extent that the group is now considered, internationally, as the fourth most dangerous terror organization in the world. It is sad to note that Boko Haram, which is presently regarded as the world number one most dangerous terror organization and the Fulani herdsmen, considered the fourth are both operating in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the response of Government to the menace of the Fulani herdsmen has to date, been tepid and indifferent.
7. GRAZING RESERVE
One reason adduced to justify the perennial attacks of the Fulani herdsmen is the argument that they seek grazing fields for their cattle and as a result engage in conflicts with farmers. It was therefore proposed that ancestral lands of other ethnic groups should be allocated to them as grazing fields.
However, the most sensible and economically wise approach would be to build ranches for the herdsmen in their states of origin. This makes more sense and it is the internationally approved best practice under the circumstances. Other nations of the world consume beef yet, nomads do not drive herds of cattle all over the nation in the 21st century.
The Grazing Reserve proposal is seen as a deceptive manner of appropriating the lands of indigenous ethnic groups for the Fulani herdsmen to spread their tentacles of terror all over the nation. The proposal should be dropped and the state governments of the herdsmen should build ranches for them in their states of origin.
8. INCONSISTENT POLICIES
We find it curious that the Federal Government of Nigeria that has pledged total support for a two state solution to the Israel – Palestinian conflict, as well as support for the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), is not addressing the demand of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for a state of their own. To date, the leader of IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is still under detention while there are frequent killings of the protesting members of the Movement. The latest in the series of attacks on the IPOB occurred on 9th February, 2016 when over twenty two members of the Movement were killed by soldiers during a prayer meeting in Aba.
It is difficult to rationalize why a government that is clamping down on agitations for self determination by an ethnic group within Nigeria, could be supporting such agitations in foreign countries. We recommend to the Government that as it is considering the case of SADR and the Palestinians, it should in like manner open dialogue with IPOB. The solution to the Biafra agitation is dialogue. While we discountenance any secessionist move, the solution to the Biafran agitation is dialogue.
a) Government should urgently convene a Council of State meeting to enable past presidents assess developments in the nation and give mature counsel.
b) A Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be set up to reconcile all Nigerians. It would appear that the Islamists, who ruled Nigeria for many years from the background, using various administrations as proxies, are now fully entrenched in the Government. The terms of reference of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission should include:
i. To distinguish the differences between Islam and Islamism and identify Nigerians that promoted Islamism in Nigeria.
ii. The role that Islamism played in promoting corruption and impunity, which includes cultism, a phenomenon that was developed in Nigeria in the last 30 years.
iii. Identify the role played by the armed forces, the police, and the intelligence agencies in the promotion of cultism, corruption and other vices that have since devastated Nigeria.
iv. To grant reprieve and pardon to any person, organization or group which confess to criminal, illegal and immoral act in the past.
v. To deal with the issues of genocide and/or marginalization perpetrated against certain ethnic minorities and promote reconciliation and healing to all those affected.
c) Every form of negotiation to involve Nigeria in issuing Sukkuk should be discontinued. Sukkuk is a “Sharia Compliant Loan” which does not serve the interest of all Nigeria because the nation is not a Sharia compliant nation. In addition, Sukkuk would jeopardize the sovereignty of Nigeria because under Sukkuk, both the lender and the debtor will own the asset which is based on land. It therefore implies that if Nigeria should eventually succumb to the acceptance of the Sukkuk loan, both the Arabs and Nigerians will own Nigeria.
d) To put an end to the murderous attacks of Fulani herdsmen, ranches should be established in the states of origin of the herdsmen. The Grazing Reserve proposal is seen as a deceptive manner of appropriating the lands of indigenous ethnic groups for the Fulani herdsmen to spread their tentacles of terror all over the nation.
e) The ownership of Nigeria can rightly be claimed by the Ethnic Nationalities. We call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to complement the stand of the National Assembly on the Constitution and implement the Report of the National Conference as regards the Executive and Policy recommendations. The National Conference Report guarantees the introduction of true Federalism which is required to build a strong, united, and prosperous nation.
f) In view of the security challenges facing the nation, it is highly advisable that each ethnic group should develop Community Policing to protect its people and its land. The security agencies have not been effective in providing security, particularly for vulnerable communities in the nation.
g) For reasons shrouded in mystery, the government stopped the teaching of History as a subject in schools. From the experience of Black Africans in Sudan, Islamists employ this sly method to eradicate the history of the indigenous ethnic groups whose land the Arabs covet and wish to takeover. According to George Orwell, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” A people without history, is a people without a future. We therefore demand that the teaching of History as a subject in schools should be reintroduced forthwith.
God bless Nigeria
Solomon Asemota, SAN
For and on behalf of the National Christian Elders Forum
The National Christian Elders Forum at its meeting in Jos, Plateau State, on Monday 29th November, 2015, expressed concern over the state of the Nigerian Church and the nation. The Elders observe that critical indices in the nation point to the need that all stakeholders in Nigeria should take stock and review the evolving situation in the country.
Amongst others, the National Christian Elders Forum observes as follows:
- There seems to be general apathy and indifference amongst Christians concerning glaring issues threatening Christianity and democracy in the nation. It would appear that the Church is suffering from self inflicted ignorance about critical issues cropping up in the nation. The Christian Elders recommend that should be an intentional program of awareness and enlightenment amongst Christians on critical issues of the moment that affect both the Church and democracy in Nigeria.
- The Christian Elders strongly recommend that the Nigerian Church has no option but to unite and vigorously pursue a course of collective self-preservation. The current state of disunity in the Church weakens its ability to resist a well orchestrated Islamist invasion in the country. The Christian Elders caution the Church, particularly those in Church leadership, from undertaking a presumptive dismissal of this admonition. “A stitch in time saves nine.”
- The Christian Elders wonder why in a divergent and pluralistic society, such as Nigeria, all the critical security institutions in the nation are headed by people from one section of the country. The Minister of Defense, the Director-General of Department of State Security (DSS), the National Security Adviser (NSA), and the Minister of Interior, are all from one section of the country and are adherents of the same religion. The Christian Elders decry the violation of the Federal Character principle in sensitive Federal appointments by the current administration. This discriminatory anomaly should be reversed without delay.
- The Christian Elders also observe with much concern the impression that is created in the Judiciary that only persons from a section of the country are qualified to be the Chief Justice of the Federation. That the Nigerian Judiciary has been garrisoned by a section of the country and a religion is no longer in doubt, however, the dismantling of this anomaly is expedient. Nigeria can only survive and thrive on a tripod of Justice, Equality, and Fairness.
- As the nation celebrated its Centenary, representatives of the various groups in the nation met at a National Conference in 2014 to review the state of the nation and chart a corrective course for the future. It is worrisome that a government would be elected into office and it would totally reject the implementation of the Report. Bearing in mind that critical solutions required by the nation are contained in the National Conference report, the National Christian Elders Forum call on the government to implement the Report of the National Conference and urge all Nigerians to raise a clarion call in this regard. It is in the best interest of Nigeria and all Nigerians that the Report of the National Conference is implemented in full.
- While the National Christian Elders Forum frowns at, and discountenances any move towards secession by any group in the nation, it firmly believes that the grievances of the agitators for Biafra Republic should be examined and the people should be given a fair hearing. It was noted that since the return to democracy in 1999, there has been no such widespread agitation until now.
- The Christian Elders appreciates the role of the media in the society and urges the media to accord topical issues in the nation a balanced report. The criminal attacks on Christian minority groups in northern parts of the nation should not be treated in manners that could be interpreted to imply media conspiracy. From the scale and consistency of the attacks, a well orchestrated act of genocide is taking place in northern Nigeria.
- The National Christian Elders Forum enjoins all Christians in the nation to adhere to the Biblical injunction of “follow peace with all men”. While Christians are urged to remain peace loving and shun any act of provocation, it has become necessary to advise Christian communities to evolve means of “self defense” to ensure self-preservation. The impunity and lawlessness with which religious extremists seek to exterminate Christians should be checked, more so, since the security agents seem helpless to apprehend these “unknown gunmen”.
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)