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Christian leaders meet Obi, Tinubu, Atiku, caution against divisive tendencies

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
10 September 2022   |   5:20 am
Christian leaders across the country under the auspices of Nigerian National Christian Coalition (NNCC) have concluded plans to meet presidential candidates of various political parties to negotiate the interest of Christians ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Composite image of Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, and Peter Obi.

Christian leaders across the country under the auspices of Nigerian National Christian Coalition (NNCC) have concluded plans to meet presidential candidates of various political parties to negotiate the interest of Christians ahead of the 2023 general elections. 

NNCC said the discussion with presidential candidates, especially that of the major political parties, is among activities for its ‘Meet The Church Summit’ slated for the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, on September 20.

Accordingly, they stated that the parley would bring the church and politicians together for an engagement to table the interests of Christians and negotiate with politicians for inclusion of the church in Project Nigeria. 

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, Convener of NNCC, Titi Oluwadare, maintained that Christians could no longer be spectators in the country, warning that “any politician, who fails to meet the church will fail in 2023.”

Apparently referring to the same-faith ticket adopted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the presidential election, Oluwadare said: “The imbalance must be corrected before the tips over the precipice.”  She emphasised the need for national interest to be above parochial interests such as religion and ethnicity.

According to her, Christians represent a big chunk of Nigeria, but have failed to articulate a political vision and engage to hone it into interests and ideas. 

Her words: “The church is now awake and ready to constructively engage with other stakeholders in the Nigeria project. We are discussing with people of every faith, tribe and tongue for peace and national healing as well as national rebirth.

“Across the political system of Nigeria, there are three key interests and focal areas. These are the Christians, Muslims, and tribal interests. The Muslims in Nigeria have effectively translated their interests into ideas and political strategies and policies. The reality is that interests need to be harmonised, pursued and transplanted or transformed to politics, ideas and ideologies before strategic engagement and policies can evolve positively from there. Muslims have done this effectively but Christians have not even started.”

The Executive Director in charge of Politics, NNCC, Uzuka Chukwuemeka, said if the nation can get the right kind of leadership, it has solved a large chunk of its problems.

He added: “If church leaders are made to understand that they are the light, then we can get to where we want. The narrative that Christians should not engage in politics because it is dirty has to change. The spiritual and the physical must be harnessed for impartation.

“If we get the right kind of leadership, our prayer points as a people will reduce drastically because we have solved half of our problems as a nation. If the country is unstable, then economic activities like every other sector is bound to suffer.

“The time has come for the leadership lapses in the church to be filled. Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is doing well, but NNCC wants to fill in the gap that CAN has not been able to harness and say it as it is. NNCC is bringing in the relationship between the church and politics.”

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