The Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) organized a Conference tagged “THINK DEMOCRACY” on Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC), Lugbe, Abuja, to evaluate developments in the country and the challenges confronting governance in Nigeria.
In collaboration with CSMN were the following Democratic groups:
- National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
- Legacy Initiative International
- Advocates for Freedom and Democracy (AFD), a coalition of 58 Christian groups
- Nigerian Christians in Diaspora
- The Clergy Forum for Peace and Development in the Niger Delta
- Christian Ministers Universal Forum
Participating as observers at the Conference were:
- South-South Study Group
- PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF)
- United Middle Belt Indigenous Peoples Congress (UMBIPC)
- Middle Belt Renaissance Forum
At the end of the meeting, the Conference resolved as follows:
- The national ideology bequeathed by the founding fathers of Nigeria at Independence was democracy. Every effort should therefore be made to ensure that Democracy is neither undermined nor abrogated in Nigeria.
- The Conference was persuaded that the war against terror can best be won with a God-fearing leader voted into power in 2019; that electing a religious fundamentalist to lead national resistance against terror by extremists constitutes a cosmetic war against insurgency.
- Conference noted the need for Nigeria to make God a significant factor in conducting the affairs of the country, and that Christians should get actively involved in politics to provide the necessary balance rather than stand at the sidelines to complain against the religious and social imbalances.
- The Conference was concerned at emerging signals towards the 2019 elections which indicate that the leading political parties in Nigeria are preparing to present candidates from the same regions and religion, to the neglect of others so long marginalized from the political space, especially the endangered northern Christians.
- The Conference moved for Christian candidates to be encouraged to join political parties and to contest for electoral offices, especially the Presidency.
- The Conference advocated for the creation of a common forum for Christian and Muslim leaders to meet and work at providing quality political leadership for the country. The Conference further recognized the capacity of Legacy Initiative International to facilitate the forum.
- Conference insisted that the foundation of Nigeria needed redressing in the form of a restructuring of the country, which should be a major agenda of the 2019 elections.
- Conference condemned in very strong terms the abduction and continued incarceration of Leah Sharibu on account of her firm stand against renouncing her Christian faith for Islam in exchange for freedom from her Islamist captors. The Conference demanded immediate Government intervention to secure her release. The Conference took time to pray for her and called on all Christians to contribute funds to support her family. As a gesture, the Conference immediately raised donations for Leah Sharibu’s family.
- Conference advocated the stipulation of a code of conduct as a mechanism for holding Christians in public offices accountable to God, to the Church, and to the general citizenry.
- The Conference expressed the need to promote unity among the several Christian bodies and to urge the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ensure Christian synergy for national transformation.
- Conference reiterated the need for a deliberate agenda for promoting the participation and representation of women, youths, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities at all levels of governance.
- Conference introduced a social mobilization movement tagged THINK NEW, to mobilize Nigerians to develop a new mind-set for social transformation.
Solomon Asemota, SAN
Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN)
Tuesday 28th August, 2018