CAN preaches love, peaceful coexistence
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, has urged the political leaders to be selfless and leave no stone unturned to promote peace in the country.
According to Vanguard, Archibishop Okoh made the urge while speaking at the Church and Mission Leaders’ Summit organized by the Gideon & Para-Mallam Peace Foundation in Abuja on Monday,
The cleric said we must not only talk about peace but make concerted efforts towards peace-building in Nigeria.
Okoh noted that there is need for harmonious coexistence in the country bearing in mind the nation’s multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic contexts.
At the summit that attracted dignitaries across the country including religious leaders, such as bishops, pastors, the CAN President discussed the role of the church and other religious organizations in promoting peace and unity in Nigeria in his keynote address.
“We must not only profess peace with our mouth, we must be intentional about it by avoiding landmines, provocative actions, ethnic profiling and statements that are likely to truncate the peace process.
“This was the path Rwanda adopted after a devastating and horrendous genocide that killed an estimated eight hundred thousand of their nationals within three months,” he said
The cleric stressed that until the leaders demonstrate the service to nation and make the interest of the masses to supercede their interest Nigeria may not move forward.
Archbishop Okoh stated, “Until leadership is accepted as service to the nation and mankind and not the opportunity for personal wealth or enrichment; until Nigeria experiences leadership that makes citizenry central to development and first in the affairs of the nation; Nigeria shall remain on the same spot and the people live in penury for many generations to come.
“Once the people are poor and marginalized, there can be no sustainable peace or development.”
The founder and Executive Director of the Gideon & Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Rev. Dr Gideon Para-Mallam, while speaking at the summit, said it was organized to provide a platform for dialogue and collaboration towards promoting peace and reconciliation in Nigeria.
He said, “Sustainable peace in Nigeria is never to be taken for granted. The responsibility lies with us (clerics) to provide the much-needed guidance and direction.
“We must take cognizance of our contextual reality. We need to acknowledge that Nigeria is multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural.”
Para-Mallam expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Okoh and all the participants for their contributions towards promoting peace in the country.
Speaking at the summit, various church and mission leaders shared their experiences and strategies for promoting peace and reconciliation in their respective communities.
The participants also expressed ways to partner with the government and other stakeholders towards achieving lasting peace in Nigeria.