This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Boko Haram - Christians Support Oritsejafor's Call for Self-Defence

Christians of all denominations in the country are in total support of the calls by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, that they defend themselves against attacks by the Boko Haram sect, a prominent member of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Emmah Isong, has said.

In an interview in Calabar, the founder of Christians Central Chapel International [CCCI], Calabar, Cross River State, explained that since the CAN president made the statement on behalf of the Christians, they were all in support of it and would do everything henceforth within their power to curtail the Boko Haram onslaught.

"Papa Ayo Oritsejafor is the chief mourner of all the Christians killed in churches in northern Nigeria. The recent reprisal attacks in Kaduna were in response to the frequent attacks on Christians in their places of worship.

They were fed up with such attacks and had to do something. Oritsejafor speaks on behalf of Christians just like the Sultan of Sokoto speaks on behalf of Muslims," he said.

Isong maintained that since the CAN president knows the number of Christians so far killed, he cannot continue to keep quiet adding that he speaks also on behalf of the minority Christians in the North who are under the reign of Sharia law and are killed with impunity my members of the Boko Haram sect.

"We Christians want him to speak more because Boko Haram has their agenda in phases. They are yet to exhaust all their plans of attempting to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. We need to support him because Nigeria is a secular state as provided in the constitution.

"I wish to advise Christians in the south to know that once Boko Haram finish killing counterparts in the north, they would move to the south. Southerners should pray and support their northern counterparts with necessary logistics. Northern Christians should rise to the occasion by defending themselves," he stated.

Answering a question on why the US government was yet to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group, Isong who is also an international evangelist argued that the American government recognises and protect its interest only, noting that once their interest becomes compromised, they would brand Boko Haram so.

"The 9/11 incident re-orientated Americans to the challenges of terrorism worldwide. Bringing the US into the Boko Haram issue now is premature, more so as the US government has not lost anything yet. America values her interest more than anything else," he added.

Isong who announced that Bishop Francis Wale Oke of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries Ibadan, Oyo State will be in his Calabar Tuesday this week for 'Advanced Ministers' Conference and Anointing and Impartation Service' called on Nigerian Christians to pray for an end to the atrocities of Boko Haram as the sect was drawing the country backward.

On the impeachment threat on President Goodluck Jonathan over non-implementation of the 2012 budget, the man of God said the problem with Nigeria was the mixture of economy with politics stressing that the scenario today is that the ruling PDP has kidnapped the economy and politicized appointments.

He described budget as the music upon which the people dance and admitted that nowhere in the world can a budget be implemented 100 per cent as it is merely a proposal but observed that the House of Representatives is worried because members are yet to execute their constituency projects yet the year is fast running out.

"What we are saying is that let the money flow hence the agitation of the House of Representative. Nigeria's budget problem is that of administration not implementation. The impeachment threat is a sin of omission not that of commission. National Assembly members are right in agitating for the implementation of the budget because their constituency projects are at stake," he said.

He advised Bakssi youths not to make good their threat of returning to their ancestral homes at Abana and other coastal communities as doing so might be counter productive given that the entire peninsula has since been handed over to the Republic of Cameroon.

"Bakassi youths should not put their hands where the fire is burning as this may trigger unpleasant consequences. The anger of Bakassi people is not the hand over of their territory to Cameroon but the neglect by Nigerian government after making them forfeit their ancestral land. They should pray hard and God will answer them', he stated.

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