Christians in Nigeria under the umbrella of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), have visited President Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him on his re-election in the February 23 election across the country for a second term.
The leadership of CAN, led by Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, used the occasion of the visit to download the group’s requests on the President, one of which is the a passionate request for deliberate and relentless efforts by the Buhari’s government for the immediate release of Leah Sharibu, other Chibok girls and Nigerians in captivity of insurgents.
The full text of the speech, read by Dr. Samson Ayokule is reproduced here:
Congratulatory Message from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on your Re-Election to Office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on his victory at the just concluded 2019 presidential election during their courtesy visit to Aso Rock Villa on 29th March 2019.
This delegation has come on behalf of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (the largest Christian Association in Africa) to congratulate you for victory and for being declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded 2019 Presidential Election in our nation.
Our prayer for you is that God shall grant you everything it takes to perform hundred times better than your first term. We pray that your administration would lead Nigeria to become the glory and pride of the nations in Africa and a country many people would desire to be, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Please count on this organization as one that has the success of your administration at heart. In that respect, we would not cease in praying for you and speaking out about what is expected to be done from time to time in keeping with the Bible, the word of God.
Your Excellency, our advice to you is to take your leadership beyond party politics. We were so happy listening to your Speech after your re-election that you were going to run an all inclusive government. Having been re-elected President, you have become the President of all. In view of this, we urge you to see yourself as father to all by embracing all. We solicit for inclusiveness and fairness as you constitute your cabinet and appoint worthy Nigerians to the headship and membership of critical agencies, boards and parastatals.
Your Excellency, there is no ethnic or religious group in Nigeria where you cannot find highly qualified men and women that you can engage to add value to your administration and help in moving the nation forward. This is the true and objective way in which you can give all in the country, a sense of belonging.
We, from the Christian Association of Nigeria, recognize the importance of the National Assembly to the stability and growth of our polity. It is in this regard that we call for ethnic and religious balance with depth in picking the leadership of that great institution of democracy.
Sir, to ensure that this happens is to remove any apprehension and suspicion harbored towards the leadership of this country. We equally solicit that the principle of separation of power as it is enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would be allowed to thrive as an intrinsic aspect of modern day democracy.
We commend you specially for the revival of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and the sincere efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in ensuring that your passion to build peace through NIREC becomes a reality. We assure you of our determination to build peace, harmony and unity in our nation as we constantly dialogue with other religious groups in our nation.
More importantly Sir, we solicit passionately for deliberate and relentless effort to free Leah Sharibu and other Chibok girls from captivity. Each passing day inflicts anguish in the hearts of the parents of this young girl, the rest of us who are parents, all Nigerians and others all over the world who love freedom and regret that Leah’s life is being wasted in captivity for no sin of hers other than for her religion. Doing all within you to free Leah Sharibu and according it top priority, shall confer greater credibility on your government and on you as a person.
Please and please, Mr. President, let Leah Sharibu and those in captivity of insurgents be freed to enjoy their lives.
Additionally sir, while we are thanking you for all your efforts at putting an end to bloodshed in the nation, we urge you to task the security agents to be more alive to their responsibilities by putting an end to insurgency, ethnic violence, kidnapping and herdsmen’s atrocities prevalent in our nation. Today, the Northwest of Nigeria which used to be peaceful is also witnessing violent activities. The unnecessary killings in Kaduna and the detention of some leaders of Ajara Chiefdom in Kaduna State since January should be addressed without delay to douse all tensions. All efforts today by all of us should be geared towards forgiving one another and reconciling with one another.
We wish you once again greater strides in your governance of this nation and pray that there would be peace and prosperity in our land in Jesus’ name.
Mr. President, once again, congratulations.
Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle