APPARENTLY worried by the division in the body of Christ in Nigeria, former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, has stated that the division currently assuming an alarming proportion may destroy the body of Christ.
The former head of state, who stated this at the Northern delegates’ meeting of Christians Association of Nigeria, held at the Church Christ in Nations in Jos, the Plateau State capital, charged Christians to unite for common goal.
Represented by former deputy governor of Taraba State, Dr Bitrus Gani, Gowon said the conflict being experienced in Nigeria could be resolved if the church could agree on a common course to achieve a common goal.
In his welcome address, the CAN chairman of the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Reverend Yakubu Pam said the events of the recent past were challenges to their faith, both spiritual and otherwise.
Pam said it is imperative to take a second look at their condition and present a common front in tackling their problems and other matters of concern, noting that his stand has always been in favour of dialogue among Christian brothers.
“By so doing, this will be a new beginning for the Christian Association of Nigeria in the north as it would be a body where our youths would find solace, it would be a body that provides succour for Christians living in poverty, would serve as a voice against violent attacks against Christian farmers living in the rural communities and of course would partner and seek wisdom for our leaders in authority,” Pam contended.
Admitting that a lot of responsibility was placed on them as light bearers of today’s CAN, he, however, stressed that the journey might not be too smooth, adding that together it would be a good and pleasant journey in unity in the long run.
With the biting economic hardship, Pam encouraged Christian brothers to go into rural agricultural farming, saying it would provide food and jobs for the unemployed.
He condemned the continuous violent attacks on Christian rural farmers and the increasing cases of girl – child abductions and forced marriages, which he said, are currently taking place in the north and other parts of the country.
He called on states and Federal Governments to address the social and security challenges that had caused tension and anxiety in the country.
The guest speaker on the occasion, Professor Yusufu Turaki, said unity had eluded the Christians in the North because national policy system and elections had factionalised the Christian communities to the extent that they do not have a common goal for self-preservation and security, among others.