The National Orientation Agency has secured the commitment of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria to join the effort to create a conducive and peaceful environment for the coming 2019 general election.
The Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, secured the commitment of CAN when he visited the National President of the body, Dr. Supo Ayokunle, on Friday in Abuja as part of the work of the National Stakeholders Dialogue Committee for Peace and Non-Violent election.
Abari said religious bodies have a role in designing a peace building framework for the period of electioneering.
He told the leadership of the Christian body that the Agency has put together a coalition of stakeholders to plan and work for peace in Nigeria during this period to ensure that the frenzy of politics does not add to the insecurity in the land.
In addition, he said religious leaders also can use the platforms of their various places of worship to send messages of peace to its adherents in line with the demands of the time and the dictates of their holy books.
Abari said: “Nigeria is the largest population of black people with great economic potentials.
“We have seen how mismanagement of elections have led to crisis in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Pakistan as well as other countries.
“No country can take up to 5 per cent of Nigerians refugees in West Africa.
“Our politicians must be addressed by influential voices.
“Politicians are not helping matters in many instances.
“Security agencies should be preached to so that they can behave themselves in the best possible professional way.
“We must also raise our voice about the amount of hate being preached on the social media.”
The President of CAN in committing the leadership and their followers, said Nigeria is lucky to have a united body for all Christians with the capacity to reach most its adherent with a single message.
According to Ayokunle, the indications in both Ekiti and Osun States and the internal selection process in many of the political parties is a source of concern to all Nigerians who desire peace in the country.
He praised the NOA for initiating the stakeholders dialogue platform, saying nothing is too little or big to build a process that will produce a peaceful outcome for Nigerians.
He said: “The Ekiti and Osun elections and the intra party elections have sent jitters to the minds of our people.
“Our politicians don’t care whether you are wounded or killed as long as they get what they want.
“The end justify the means.
“But leadership is sacrifice.
“Those who want to continue by all means are enemies of Nigeria.”
Ayokunle said CAN has already started creating awareness on the significance of 2019 general election through several of its channels.
Members of the National Stakeholders Dialogue committee on free and violence free 2019 election are drawn from the security forces, International Development organisations, government bodies, election management body, Civil Society Organisations and religious bodies.