The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in Anambra State says it has discovered that the problems of Nigeria are being instigated by politicians both at the national and state levels, with a view to achieving their individual political interests.
The State Chairman of CAN, Venerable Joseph Nweke disclosed this during the presentation of Nigerian flags to the Anambra State CAN and its sister organization in the Islamic World in the State, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI.
The event was put together by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State Directorate, as part of efforts to broker peaceful coexistence among the two religious bodies, as a way to reach other warring groups in the state.
Receiving the flag from the State NOA Director, Barrister Charles Nwoji in Awka, Venerable Nweke described the event as a clear demonstration of the concerted spirit of sincerity on the party of NOA in the country.
The CAN Chairman, who is also the Venerable in charge of Onitsha Central Archdeaconry, Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion, said the Church has discovered also that trouble of the Country in terms of religious affiliations, are equally from the politicians, adding that no Archbishop or even Bishop ever has any grudge against any other religious faith in Anambra State and beyond.
“Politicians at the national level have succeeded in sowing seed of discord in the country so that their adherents would buy in and start fomenting trouble in various parts of the Country.
“Anambra State was the first place in Igboland where Christianity landed in 1857 and I make bold to say that since then through today, in Anambra State as a Christian Community, no Church is antagonizing any mosque or her Cleric anywhere in the State.
“What matters in Nigeria today is who has the ability to lead the people out of slavery.
“Nigeria has been in a colonial slavery for decades of years without a permanent solution to it.
“Nigerian politicians have latched onto religious sentiment to elicit sentiments from the people to be able to ascend positions of authority.
“They use religion to shine to the detriment of the greater Nigerian population.
“I want to call on the Christian faithful and their Islamic brothers to work towards loving their neighbours as they love themselves,” he pleaded.
Venerable Nweke also observed that Nigerians vote their leaders out of sentiments and not for competency, pleading with the political class to stop using thugs to cause mayhem during elections.
For his part, the Anambra State Chairman, JNI, who is the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Musa Bello Shelleng, thanked God for using NOA to organize the auspicious event, especially now the country is facing a lot of challenges, pointing out that no nation can thrive without peace.
He noted the Islamic community and their Christian counterpart in the state, have been living peacefully for a very long time, amid the herders cum farmers clashes across the country.
The Anambra JNI leader added that Governor Willie Obiano has done a lot to minimize the issue of the herders/ farmers crisis in the state by constituting the Cattle Menace Committee, comprising Muslim Leaders, Heads of Christian and Traditional Institutions in the State, with the mandate of handling any problem that might ensue between the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers in the State.
“The Committee has played a vital role in containing the herder/farmers problems in the State.
“Also, the signing of the Anambra State Open Grazing Prohibition Law by Governor Obiano, has further curtailed the herders/farmers clashes in the State to the barest minimum,” he posited.
Giving a background on the event, the State NOA Director, Barrister Nwoji, said there is an ongoing program in NOA with the theme,”Building a People of Peace,” which he said has many trajectories.
Describing CAN and JNI as no mean organizations in the country in all ramifications, the NOA Director, said the two organizations weigh a lot of influence over their adherents, expressing the belief that if NOA could engage them meaningfully, the Agency would have reached their large population in the society.
“A close assessment of the current situations in Nigeria has shown that each passing day, there must be a gory story from the herders and farmer.
“There are also reports of killings by bandits, terrorists, gunmen whether known or unknown, etc and the essence of this programme is to remind the participants that a lot is expected of them in getting our society to a point of peace.
“Religion as a leveller is one thing that binds the people together, and that is why we are taking it for the start.
“We hope at the longer run, to take this initiative to other segments of the society, to bring everyone on the same page,” he promised.
The event climaxed with the handover of the Nigerian flags to the two heads of CAN and JNI in the state by the NOA Director, as a mark of state power and authority, peace and unity.