REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE UNITY AND COOPERATION COMMITTEE OF NCEF WITH CHRISTIAN LEADERS TO DELIBERATE ON CHRISTIAN PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE HELD AT THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTER, ABUJA ON WED. 27TH JUNE, 2018 AT 12.00 NOON
EXCERPTS FROM THE REPORT
Elder Owojaiye gave an illustrative exhortation from Matt. 5: 39 that if anyone smites you on the right cheek, offer him the other cheek to slap. If a man slaps another man, that is a quarrel. However, if a man kills 200 of your people in one night that is not quarrel that is a war. The rule for quarrel is different from the rule for war. However, Christians apply same rule to engage different situations. Christians need to redefine their theology of responding to conflicts in a modern world.
He defined three categories of God’s offspring: babes, children and sons.
Baby: Helpless and unable to do anything for himself.
Child: Has no sense of value.
Son: Accepts responsibility.
For years, the Nigerian Church has been producing babies and children whose only interest in God is what they would receive. That is why miracle services and special programs thrive. The Church is yet to focus on producing sons that will accept responsibility for the Church and the nation.
If the Church is to survive, more Christians are needed to accept responsibility for the Church and the nation.
- Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) should set up an Observer Status with INEC, as the Social Arm of CAN. In addition, pressure should be mounted on INEC to ensure adequate registration of voters in Christian areas.
- Christians should begin to consider meaningful steps to defend themselves. Details of this should be worked out in a Christian Leadership Conference which is expedient.
- Denominations, Ministries and Fellowships are encouraged to set up effective Leadership Department to train and educate Christians on politics and Godly governance. There should be deliberate training of Christians to participate in politics and provide leadership in the nation. This would be based on Isaiah 9: 6. The Unity and Cooperation Committee shall produce “A Code of Conduct for Christians in Politics” as well as organize Seminars and Workshops on “Christians in Nation Building”.
- There was consensus on fund raising and it was agreed that for the next six months, Christians should make monthly contribution of N1000 average into: Christian Social Movement of Nigeria, Zenith Bank 10 14 13 83 50. The meeting agreed that if there is going to be an effective Christian harmonization and participation in governance, Christians should be prepared to fund it. Based on an enquiry, it was clarified that this donation is different from CAN Trust Fund. The donation to CSMN is purely for driving the process to facilitate Christian participation in Governance. Donation is for an initial period of six months, to be reviewed. It was emphasized that if Christians are desirous of making impact in governance, they should be prepared to fund the process.
- All Christian groups mobilizing for Christian participation in governance should synergize. Since CSMN is a central body under CAN, all Christian efforts should be harmonized there.
- Participants at the meeting are requested to be ambassadors to their various Church groups. The Laity leaders are requested to mobilize members of their groups to support and fund the political movement.
- Intercessory warfare prayers should be intensified all over the country. In addition, the Church should return to discipleship.
- It was agreed that a group named Gideon 300 should be formed to reach out to influential Christians. Some of the participants indicated interest to reach at least 10 other Christians to support the work of the Unity and Cooperation Committee.
- Participants at the meeting agreed that the structure of CAN should be reviewed to respond to current challenges. The current structure, it was concluded, is inadequate to help the Church.
- Christians should be encouraged to register on www.csmnigeria.org for mobilization and information.
Elder Owojaiye, the Chairman of the Unity and Cooperation Committee gave a keynote address at the meeting. The highlights are as follows:
1. According to Is. 9: 6, it is the divine responsibility of the Church to provide leadership for the nation. If Christians do not organize to provide leadership, the nation shall be destroyed.
2. The crisis in Nigeria is simply Democracy versus Sharia. Therefore, Christians must be mobilized to defend Democracy to ensure that justice and fairness prevail in the country.
3. Participation in political process is the necessary step to provide leadership as well as defend Democracy. Christians are encouraged to join any political party of their choice and also present themselves as candidates to contest. He stressed the need for Christians to register with any political party of their choice and for capable Christians to contest elective positions.
4. At the right time, there shall be harmonization of the political process and the best candidate shall be endorsed irrespective of the political party he/she belongs to.
5. Political parties that support Democratic values of equity and justice are encouraged to work closely with the Unity and Cooperation Committee to aid in harmonization of good candidates for elective offices.
6. A key concern is the Presidential election. Christians are urged to step forward and present themselves for the position of the President of Nigeria on the platform of different political parties. The same step should be replicated for Governorship seats. At the right time, Christians shall harmonize.
7. More Christians are needed to go to National Assembly as well as States House of Assembly. The Legislature is the power house of Democracy. Christians should present themselves on the platforms of any political party of their choice.
8. In order to circumvent the exorbitant registration fee to contest, which the large parties charge, Christians are advised to explore contesting on the platform of newly formed parties. It is the votes that will count. A new party can win the elections. Emmanuel Macron proved that in France.
9. The Unity and Cooperation Committee hopes to conduct Seminars, Workshops as well as Conferences for Christian candidates on “Christians in Nation Building”. The Committee would also compile “A Code of Conduct for Christians in Politics”.
10. Participants at the meeting were urged to become ambassadors of the Christian political awakening. All the participants were also encouraged to register at www.csmnigeria.org and encourage other Christians, too, to register.
11. CAN has to engage INEC to ensure that Christians are registered without difficulties. All over the nations, there are reported cases of registration difficulties in Christian dominated areas. CAN should use its nationwide structures to engage INEC at National, State, and Ward levels.
12. Achieving effective Christian participation in governance would require a lot of funding. Funding would be required for Seminars, Conferences, travels, meetings, publications, publicity, and supporting Christian candidates, where help is needed.
The Goodwill Message from the Chairman of the NCEF was read by the Secretary of the NCEF. The full message is part of this Report before the list of Attendance.
INTRODUCTION OF POLITICAL PARTIES
Two newly registered political parties whose representatives participated in the meeting were introduced. The parties are:
1. Providence People’s Congress (PPC)
2. United Peoples Congress (UPC)
The representatives of the two parties were also given some time to address the meeting.
PRAYER FOR ASPIRANTS
The meeting also prayed for Christian aspirants who attended the meeting.