Don’t Aggravate Nigeria’s Problems, CAN Chairman Begs Buhari, El-Rufai | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Don’t Aggravate Nigeria’s Problems, CAN Chairman Begs Buhari, El-Rufai

Posted: Mar 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

Anthonia Duru

Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-South zone, Archbishop God-Dowell Avwomakpa, has faulted reports over President Buhari’s confirmation of the membership of Nigeria in the Islamic Coalition against terrorism formed by majorly Islamic countries at the instance of Saudi Arabia to fight international terrorism.

The admittance is coming barely two weeks after the president had stated while speaking with Saudi Arabia king, Salman Bin Abdul- Aziz during a trip to Saudi- Arabia that Nigeria was not a member.

It will be recalled that president Buhari said Nigeria would support the coalition even though it wasn’t a member only for the newspapers to now report this week that Nigeria has join the collation.

“If indeed the reports in the newspapers were accurate, the question then is: at what point did our President who enjoys the support of Nigerians and Nigerians in Diaspora decided to turn back to join the collation,” Avwomakpa said in the statement signed by his media adviser Ovie Edomi.

The Archbishop who said in the statement that clerics have been praying for Nigeria to remain as one unity nation noted that if Nigeria goes ahead to join the collation, most innocent Nigerians who travel abroad especially to Arab countries will be targets of terrorists. Besides the CAN chairman said the problems of Boko Haram insurgency, the Niger Delta militancy and the South East agitation are enough problems coupled with the harsh economic realities that the present administration has to contend with.

While calling on President Buhari to look at how to bring about the desired change, Archbishop Avwomakpa also called on EL-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state who equally sign into law a bill that say cleric cannot preach without license

The new law states every preacher will have to go and get only one year license which is renewable every year meaning a preach without a licence or an expired license risks two years imprisonment.

The new law in Kaduna State also criminalizes the use of CDS, Flash Drive and other communication gadgets except in religious building or inside their houses. The implication according to Archbishop Avwomakpa is that people will be arrested for listening to preaching or religious music inside their cars or in any open place except in religious buildings or their houses.

Those who preach without license, are guilty of offense punishable with two years imprisonment or a fine of 200,000.

Furthermore the CAN chairman for South South zone noted that since all preaching must be done within a building, it means public evangelism has been criminalized.

The Cleric called on the governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to realise that the constitution allows Nigerians to freedom of worship and worshipping people pray peace, unity and progress. Consequently the CAN chairman said nobody should do anything that will divide the country the way they divided South Sudan. To do such a thing, Avwomakpa noted the new laws in Kaduna State will not allow Nigeria to progress at the pace that President Buhari wants.

According to the South South Chairman of CAN “The Kadunna law mean that people will not be allowed to go out for evangelism or move with vehicles with address systems to preach the word of God.”

Archbishop Avwomakpa who was one of the 3000 guests from 130 nations to join President Barrack Obama and other members of the American Congress in a National Prayer Breakfast held last month in Washington DC said every year the President of America, “the Congress who we borrowed our democracy from, gather people to reaffirm their trust in God and organise prayer session with others throughout the world while are Nigeria’s leaders not taking advantage of the power in prayers to call on the Almighty God to do a new thing in our land.”

Avwomakpa however noted that this is the time to get closer to God and pleaded with President Buhari and the Kaduna state governor to use their good offices to Promote national unity through collective prayer and evangelism