The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has called on the Federal Government to ensure safety of lives, property and free movement of people by decisively dealing with the issues of banditry, terrorism and other violent crimes in the nation.
The body lamented the increasing incidences of kidnapping and armed robbery in addition to the re-emergence of insurgency and banditry in the country.
CAN’s plea was contained in a statement issued on its behalf by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant, Media and Communications to its president, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, in Abuja on Saturday.
The Christian body also felicitated with Nigerians across the country on the Easter celebration, urging them to imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ in order to drive out vices such as banditry, terrorism, hate speech, bigotry and corruption.
The statement read in part: “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.
“On behalf of 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.
“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.”
Ayokunle, who pointed out that public gatherings such as going to meet Jesus at Galilee on Easter Monday, was one of the common ways to celebrate Easter many years ago, noted that there was no fear then that some people would come to such gatherings and bomb the place.
He noted that Easter was celebrated then in an atmosphere of peace.
The CAN President said further: “In the spirit of this season, and as citizens of this country, I urge 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.”
He however, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assuring Nigerians of his commitment to the provision of security for all, irrespective of tribe, religion or political divide stressing that Nigerians would truly want to see that the promise translated into action in the most patriotic way.