Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno State, Bishop Mohammed Naga, has called for unity among Christians, Muslims and other faiths in the northeast affected by the Boko Haram islamist insurgency.
Naga, in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun over the weekendshortly after inaugurating the officials of the Christian Penticostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN)/Penticostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), a unit of CAN, in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said unity among the different faith communities in the area could build a “strong spiritual force against the evil which Boko Haram represents.”
“It is because of the unity of the body of Christ that God is in charge of the situation in Borno and other northeast states affected by insurgency. But there is need for more trust and unity among faiths to face the Boko Haram challenge. Our coming together against the evil which Boko Haram represents will give us victory,” he said.
Naga described the recent upsurge in attacks by the insurgents as devastating. He said however that the church would not relent in prayers, calling on other faith leaders to also step up prayers.
Speaking on how Maiduguri has been the frequent target of threats and attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, the bishop said the insurgents would have overrun the city save for the prayers of the church and other faiths.
Earlier while delivering a message on “The work of leaders in the church” at the inauguration, the CAN leader said clergy have been tasked with leadership in order to edify and help people.
“As recorded in the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians Chapter 4 verse 12, church leaders – apostles, pastors, teachers or prophets – are called to edify the body of Christ,” he stated. He said spiritual leadership is not for personal gratification, or to acquire cars or aircrafts or to satisfy personal needs, urging leaders to make more sacrifices for the people.
The new leader of the CPFN/PFN, Rev Jonah Hamidu Freeson, said the mercy of God has sustained Christians in Borno throughout the insurgency.
“People are always surprised when you say you are from Borno. They will be wondering how we’ve been surviving the Boko Haram violence, especially in those terrible periods; but I can tell you it was the mercy of God. Let’s keep asking for His mercy over our land,” he said.