Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd) and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Saturday tasked Northern Christians to close rank for unity and love, to be able to speak with one voice on issues affecting their collective wellbeings in the country.
Gowon spoke in Kaduna while officially inaugurating Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians (CNNC).
Several delegates from the 19 northern States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) graced the occassion, with Katsina State known for Muslim dominated State, pulling the highest number of Christian delegates on the occasion.
However, the former Head of State who was the Chairman of the occasion cautioned the founders of the CNNC not to clash with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in addressing issues concerning Christians in the zone.
“We must work as one, tolerate one another and unite for common interest because without unity among ourselves, we cannot achieve anything and move forward,” Gowon said.
In his goodwill message, the Honourable Speaker expressed worry over lack of unity of purpose among Northern Christians.
He decried a situation whereby emphasised is laid on different denominations and church each Christian belong, instead of striving hard to work in unison irrespective of denominational differences.
“The problem among christians in the north is lack of unity. Where is the love for God and humanity to make others serve God in us. The highest enemy of church and christian is disobedience”. Dogara said.
This was even as he promised to support the CNNC to achieve its aims and objectives, adding that christians should learn to forgive one another in order to enjoy God’s blessings.
“To the founders of the CNNC, you should pray for the church, the country and the leadership”, he added.
Earlier, interim Chairman of the Congress, Adamu Baikie, disclosed that the purpose of the Congress was not informed by any pre-conceived notion but by a desire to serve as a basis to call for the unity of the christains in Northern Nigeria in coformity with the injuction of scripture which says, “That they all may be one”
According to him, “We are also committed to creating awareness among northern nigeria christains to stand firm against every form of violence, discrimination, and intimidation being meted out to any citizen of this country, above all, work towards the unity and indivisibilty of the nigerian state.”
Adamu Baiki who revealed that the congress is not a political organisation nor is it a front for any political party revealed that “We shall also resist any attempt to clandestinely use the platform of the congress to promote the political interests of any individual or group of individuals”
“We are not unmindful of the fact that there are other organisations or religious associations that abound in the country, the north in particular. We have no desire to whatsoever to undermine their efforts or obliterate their very existence”
The chairman noted that the emergence of Christain Traditional Rulers today is a heart warming experience which has surpased their knowledge and expectations.
“Many of us have lived in ignorance of the wide spread existence of Christain Traditional Rulers. We give glory to God for His bountiful endowment and we pray that your numbers will increase in appreciably form from now onwards”, he said.