From Fred Ezeh, Anne Bassey and Susan Obaje, Abuja
President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle has told the Federal Government to stop making excuses and tackle headlong the challenges that have continued to slow down the pace of human, economic and infrastructural development of the country.
CAN, an umbrella body of Christian faithful reminded the government that complaints and shifting of blames would never make any difference but would only compound socio-economic and security woes of Nigerians.
The government was also advised to eschew nepotism and religious sentiment in its key appointments and other activities, and keep its doors open to useful ideas from people, irrespective of nationality, religion and political affiliation.
With such open door policy, CAN said it was convinced Nigerians at home and abroad endowed with ideas to end decades of economic, political and security challenges would present themselves to the service of their fatherland.
Dr. Ayokunle who addressed newsmen at the 104th Baptist Convention in Abuja said: “All must be done in political appointments and in conduct of government businesses to reflect federal character, not only in ethnicity or geo-political zone but also in ensuring religious balance.
“The suspicion of favoritism by the Buhari led Federal Government of one religious group to the detriment of others must be checked, simply because the more government adhere to these admonitions, the more coherent we would be as a people and the greater the peace and development we would record.”
The CAN president who doubles as president, the Nigerian Baptist Convention expressed dismay with the level of attention being channeled to the ongoing killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria, accusing the government of treating the issue with kid glove.
“The government appeared not to be in control of security situation in Southern Kaduna. We pray it doesn’t escalate and force people to resort to self help which might lead to anarchy. Nigerians need not to be losing their precious lives in this manner in a country where there is a democratically constituted government with the monopoly of tools to provide security.
“It was gratifying to note the swiftness with which the police apprehended suspects in the Ile-Ife communal clash. It was, however, a wonder that since Fulani herdsmen have been killing farmers in every part of Nigeria, neither the police nor other security operatives have been able to be as prompt in making arrest and successfully prosecute the perpetrators,” he said.
The clergy, however, commended the government’s recent effort on economy especially in strengthening the local currency and appealed for sincerity in tackling the siege of economic hardship that had crippled the lives of Nigerians.