The President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle has said that the ills of corruption, injustice and lack of equity have denied Nigeria the opportunity of realising its dream of greatness.
He also cited a lack of true love among Nigerians as being responsible for division and animosity along ethnic and religious lines.
Ayokunle said this in Abuja yesterday at the 60th Independence Anniversary Inter-denominational church service with the theme: “Come, Let us Rebuild…”
The inter-denominational Christian Church service was organised by the federal government in collaboration with CAN.
Ayokunle said Nigerians need to overcome corrupt ways of life and love each other in order to achieve the much cherished greatness.
“Corruption, which the federal government is waging war against wouldn’t have been there if there is love. Let us use our position to build Nigeria and stop being selfish and divisive,” he said.
He also called for religiosity to reposition the country and overcome its corrupt way of living, which has almost become a national shame.
The CAN president, who lamented the insecurity and the spate of killings of innocent Nigerians, questioned the rationale behind the killing of fellow countrymen in name of ethnicity and religion.
He also said the claim of Nigerians of being religious people with knowledge of God is deceptive because of manifest ethnic and religious chauvinism and bias of the leadership in all places, adding that for the country to sustain peace and unity, equality and justice must be upheld.
‘’However, from the practical experience of the way we behave in different places and at different levels, our love for God is superfluous and hypocritical and our faith or religiosity is empty. It has not reflected in the life of holiness and impeccable integrity at work or in the market place in general,’’ he said.
The CAN President cited a high level of selfishness as one of the causes of pains in the country, while noting that where there is selfishness, love for one another cannot be there.
He also frowned at the spate of killings in the country in the past 10 years, saying it has never happened before.
‘’Equally, a nation that is religiously plural like ours requires love in practice so as to co-exist without fighting one another. What is sane in using the name of God or hide under the cloak of religion to kill a fellow human? If God wants all of us to be of one ethnicity or race or religion doesn’t he have the power to do it? Why do we want to play God and wickedly terminate the lives of others on account of religion?’’ he asked.
Ayokunle maintained that government and leaders must subscribe to the doctrine of equal opportunity for all Nigerians, noting that lack of trust and mutual suspicion have been preventing the country from achieving lofty heights.
The cleric advised current leadership in the country to harness abundant God’s given human and natural resources for the benefit of the people.
Prayers were offered for Nigeria’s growth by various priests and the religious during the one and a half hour church service held at the Christian Ecumenical Centre in Abuja.
In his message, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, urged Nigerians to remain together and build the nation.
Mustapha said the moment called for deeper reflection.
He charged the leadership of CAN to provide the needed leadership to build modern Nigeria, which all the citizens are craving for.
He said the partnership between the federal government and CAN will lead to the development of the country.
He also expressed optimism that the anniversary will lay a solid and good foundation for the future of the country.