By Solomon Asowata
Lagos – The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Monday appealed to the people of Jos to remain calm following the outbreak of fresh violence in the city.
Ayokunle also called on the Federal Government to urgently wade into the situation and restore peace to the whole of Plateau by bringing the perpetrators of the dastardly act to justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CAN president spoke at the First Christian Leaders Roundtable Summit organised by Legacy Initiative International in Lagos.
He said: “For the situation in Jos, I am appealing for calm in the midst of all these destructions.
“I have received calls from some people that there was shooting overnight and many youths were killed over a missing ex- soldier.
“I heard that his car was found in a pond in Jos, but I don’t know how that was interpreted to be the handiwork of Christians.
“I think what should have been done was to allow the security agencies to do their jobs instead of killing innocent people in retaliation.
“The government must do everything to keep peace in the nation and bring the murderers in our midst to book.”
According to him, Nigerians, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, should continue to cohabit in unity and love in order to foster the country’s socio-economic and political development.
Ayokunle lauded Legacy Initiative International for leading the movement for a new Nigeria, stressing that God’s plans for the nation would come to pass with the election of credible leaders.
He said CAN had finalised plans to train 300 Electoral Observers drawn from the six geopolitical zones at a cost of N12 million to monitor the 2019 elections.
“Fifty people will be trained from each region, who will in turn train others.
“Our plan is to deploy three observers to each polling unit and we have already applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for observer status.
“INEC on its part must strive to remain as an impartial umpire because what we have seen in the last two elections in Ekiti and Osun States left much to be desired due to complaints of intimidation of party agents, vote buying and violence,” Ayokunle said.
Earlier, the Grand Patron of Legacy Initiative International, Chief Kenny Martins, said the 58th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria was a sober day for reflections on how the country’s fortunes could be turned around.
“The journey of Nigeria needs to begin today. At 58, we are still yearning for the most basic things like road, water, housing, transportation among other infrastructure,” Martins said.
He said the group was willing to work with CAN and the leadership of the Muslim faithful to draw a template together on the minimum expectations of the inter-faith community from those vying for elections into public offices in Nigeria.
Martins said the inter-faith community would also organise a National Peace Convention for all registered political parties and INEC.
He said that this was with a view to getting them sign a peace pact to keep peace during elections and abide by the rules and regulations.