Tackle increasing kidnapping, insurgency now, CAN tells Buhari in Easter Message
… Calls for peaceful coexistence
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), on Saturday appealed to the Federal Government to urgently put an end to the rising case of kidnapping and killings especially in the northern part of the country.
President of CAN, Rev Samson Ayokunle in his Easter message also urged government to secure the country to ensure safety of lives and property to allow free movement of people during and after the festive period.
He advised all Christians, Muslims and non-religious citizens to pursue peace, tolerance and love for one another no matter the situation.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to The Nation, Ayokunle said: “On behalf of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), I congratulate all Christians in Nigeria and beyond on this most auspicious occasion of this year’s Easter, which is a commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour!
“The essence of Easter is unquestionable and indisputable. The arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in human history. It is this costly work of redemption on the cross – bearing the curse and death of mankind as a result of sin – that brought man the most powerful experience of spiritual rebirth, the uncommon grace to share eternal life of God. Jesus is thus the eternal ransom, an innocent Lamb of God that took the place of man in eternal condemnation. May His name be glorified forever, Amen.
“In this season and beyond, I advise Nigerians to love one another as Christ loved us and gave His life for us! Lack of love today is the breeding ground for religious intolerance, killings and destructions, which in turn lead to insurgency and other forms of violence with their attendant humanitarian crises such as mass human displacements, hunger, outbreak of sicknesses and diseases, etc, in many parts of the country today.
“The Federal Government is further called upon to secure the nation for the purposes of safety of lives, property and free movement of people. Kidnapping, increasing wave of armed robbery and resurgence of insurgency coupled with relentless attacks by ethnic militia men are a great concern for patriotic Nigerians and an embarrassment to the nation. These issues should be addressed squarely, promptly and fairly.
“We thank Mr. President for assuring the nation and its citizens of his commitment to the provision of security for all, irrespective of tribe, religion or political divide. We want to see in no distant time, that this noble promise is translated into action in the most patriotic way.”
The CAN boss went further that: “The celebration of Easter is important to Christians because it reminds us that somebody died or sacrificed Himself so that others might live. It calls our attention to the fact that we can be betrayed, denied or abandoned by those that are close to us. It reminds us that our prayers are answered when God does His will in our lives.
“Easter reminds us that the way to elevation is rough and could be fatally painful. Life is all about what we can sacrifice for others’ comfort and not what we can benefit from it. Easter reminds us that death is not the end of all things for Christians. As he rose from death, we shall rise also at the resurrection of the just on the Last Day.
“Standing upon this eternal Truth, I am of utmost conviction that whatever is dead in our lives as individuals and a nation will experience resurrection power and come back to life in the name of Jesus because our God is alive. As Jesus rose above death, we shall rise above all our challenges in this nation in the name of Jesus.
“Public gatherings like going to meet Jesus at Galilee was common as one of the ways to celebrate Easter many years ago. There was no fear then that some crazy people would come to such gatherings and bomb the place. Easter was celebrated then in the atmosphere of peace unlike the present fear and tension that hover around our social and national security.”
In the spirit of the season, and as citizens of this country, Ayokunle urged all Christians, as well as Muslims and non-religious citizens of Nigeria to pursue peace, tolerance and love for one another: “just as Jesus offered His life to reconcile humankind to God. This is one of the greatest needs today in our dear country and it requires genuine sacrifice to achieve it. This is because it is in the atmosphere of peace that we would have progress as a nation.”