Kwara Hijab crisis: It took me serious effort to calm Christians ― CAN president

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Olasupo Ayokunle, has revealed the effort of the Christian body in quelling the recent Kwara State Hijab crisis that almost led to another religious tension in the country, noting that it was time for those in the authority to always be careful of their actions and make the security of the nation a genuine priority.

Ayokunle stated this during his sermon entitled, “Call to Lead at a Difficult Time”, at the thanksgiving service of the newly elected president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke, at the Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan Campus 1, Garden of Victory, Old Ife Road, Ibadan, Oyo State, just as he expressed his delight that he was pleased that God shifted the headquarters of spirituality in Nigeria, to Oyo State, as the two heads of the Christians are from Oyo State.

Speaking further on the Kwara crisis, Ayokunle revealed that he was privileged to have a private meeting with Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq in the presence of the vice president Yemi Osinbajo and the Kwara State CAN chairman and I told the governor that any man who doesn’t want the bloodshed of anybody either Christians or Muslims would not make the pronouncement he made on the matter.

“He should have not made such pronouncement to favour any religion when the matter is still in court and that there was an appeal. I told the governor that if no one can hold him accountable for the religious crisis that occurred in the state recently, God will hold him accountable. I hold nobody for that and this is why God has put me in this position. If I had not asked Christians over there to be calm, you will know that there is madness in Christian as well. We are doing our best to make sure that there is peace in the land. Those in the authority need to be very careful because they will be justified or be condemned by the position they hold,” he added.

Ayokunle while advising the new PFN president on the task ahead noted that leadership is a call and a tough assignment as well as stressed that he should remain dedicated and courageous in his decisions and responsibilities.

“My dear Bishop Oke, you should be ready to speak truth to power all times, because Nigerians direly needs someone to liberate them. Nigerians are angry and do not believe in the leaders of the country. The tilted appointments in the land are dividing the country the more.

“You should constantly speak against and proffer solutions to the insecurity of the country, because the way the issue of insecurity is being handled in Nigeria indicates that those in power don’t know what to do again. They give assurances, but it seems they don’t have the things to bring the assurances to pass,” he added.

The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde who was also at the event promised that the government will not relent in his power to ensure fortify the security of the state, just as he expressed confidence that on the spiritual backing of the Christian bodies leaders (CAN and PFN) that are from Oyo State and Christians at large would bring absolute peace to the land.

“We are dealing with challenges in Nigeria. We are dealing with ethnic and religious challenges. I want to appeal to all of us, we need to be praying for this country and the people in leadership positions,” he added.

Makinde also congratulated Bishop Oke, as the seventh elected PFN president, noting that it was a welcome development as leaders of the two main Christian bodies are from Oyo State, adding that he committed the new president into God’s hands and that he will start and finish well.

In his remarks, Oke expressed his gratitude to God and everyone that has identified with him since he emerged as the new PFN president, adding that, “I will give it my best shot and in the fear of God. I have seven-point agenda. It is a very difficult time. Can anybody be oblivious of the challenges by the herdsmen when people can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed? The challenges of Nigeria are multifaceted and every segment must play its role.

“I am appealing to those in power to do their job and deliver justice. A good government will not negotiate with bandits. You are in power to provide security. Those that should be jailed should be jailed. Those that should be killed should be killed. This is the responsibility of a government. Don’t expect us to kill the killers, rapists, and the rest. No, that is what we elected you to do. Protection of lives and property is what we elected you for,” he added.

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