The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Saturday said that the country is due for restructuring even as the association noted that it must be done without fear of favour to all citizens.
CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle who made the submission at the International Workers’ Retreat of the Nigerian Baptist Convention in Abuja, rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2018 New Year message wherein he dismissed the agitation for restructuring.
The CAN President insisted that the realities of contemporary Nigeria has made it necessary to update the system and structure of governance in the nation.
His words, “There is the need to update how we govern ourselves; thus, re-structuring the nation after 57 years is a welcome development. It must be done without bias or prejudice to religion, ethnicity, class or group affiliation.
“We must develop our home-grown democracy. The present system is a hybrid of the American and British system. It is not working well for us.”
Quoting Revelations Chapter 21, Verses 24-26, Ayokunle said: “When we gained independence from Britain in 1960, it was a turning point in our history and a breakthrough for the nation’s glory to burst forth.
“Our glory shone brighter and brighter after independence as we became the foremost nation in Africa and indeed among the black race.
“However, at a point, the glory began to fade and we are yet to recover that glory. If we must bring back the glory of Nigeria and rise to more glory as a nation, then effective participation is compulsory for all Christians”.
The CAN President urged Christians who are avoiding politics because it is perceived to be a ‘dirty game’ to have a rethink and embrace it, if they wished to see positive change within the political landscape of the nation.
“The practice of separation of State and Church must be redefined. While the State must not be allowed to control the Church, the Church must influence the State through Christians who are in position of power” he said.
“To get to a position of power, there is need for election especially in a democratic setting like ours. We must be involved in all facets of politics. Politics is not a dirty game as many have come to believe, but those who play politics are the ones who are dirty” he added.
He further charged Christians to join and become card-carrying members of political parties, register to vote when called to do so by INEC, participate actively at the ward level of your party, attend meetings, and contribute meaningfully during discussions, vote and encourage others to vote during election period, and monitor to protect their votes.
According to him, “Sidon look approach will not help us as Christians. Mike Murdock said, ‘Never complain about what you permit’. If we do not participate actively in politics, then we do not have the right to complain about the type of leaders that are presented by political parties to be voted for and voted into various offices”.
“This year, God is interested in our nation and us. Throughout the Bible, we see God intervening, leading and instructing men on how to lead their nations. He is urging us as Christians to be involved in the governing process of our nation. Nigeria is at the center of God’s plan for the human race”.
“If nation building in the 21st century is to be successful, the importance of democratic values, civic culture and civil society that develop and sustain them, the importance of increasing social, political, and economic equality, and of human development, rather than just economic development, are key in any successful strategy for long-term democratic nation-building.
“For Nation building to be a sustainable force for peace building, it must incorporate more than just the Western appendages of democracy, voting systems, free market development and increase in the Gross National Product (GNP) of the nation”.
Speaking on herdsmen killings in Benue and Taraba states, the CAN Leader prayed for peace in the areas, he asked God to comfort the bereaved, heal those recuperating in the hospitals and challenged the government and the security agencies to live up to the expectation.
He said, “That bloodletting could have been avoided if our political leaders and the heads of the security agencies are alive to their responsibilities.
“This is why the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been consistently calling on them to live up to the billings.
“What is happening in the North-central of the country is a shame, ungodly, wicked and ungodly. It is high time we stopped it before we are thrown into another needless civil war.”