By Sam Eyoboka
LAGOSâ€”The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN,Â has urged Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to be more proactive in dealing with religious crisis in parts of the country, by prosecuting perpetrators of such.
PFN, which hailed the National Assembly for empowering Jonathan as the nation’s leader, however, lamented the failure of past governments to address incessant religious crises in the North.
â€œWe would also like to take this opportunity to express our concern at the failure of successive governments to take decisive steps to bring a permanent end to the terror inflicted on innocent Nigerians with predictable regularity in Northern Nigeria,â€ a statement signed by members of PFN National Advisory Council, noted.
According to the clerics which included Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Pastor William Kumuyi, Evangelist Uma Ukpai, Pastor Ayo OritsejaforÂ and Archbishop Margaret Idahosa, â€œsince the Maitatsine riots, incidents of religious riots have increased in frequency and spread, suggesting that rather than resolve the problem, the situation is deteriorating.â€
They argued that a permanent solution to the perennial problem can be achieved ifÂ every Nigerian is made to feel at home wherever he lives within the Nigerian border and governments uphold the constitutional provision that guarantees every Nigerian freedom of worship and association.
The clerics regretted that Christians including those in Northern Nigeria have been forced to live in perpetual fear and for the most part are treated as second-class citizens in their own country.
â€œThe situation is such that in several cities in Northern Nigeria, there is no one single church that has a Certificate of Occupancy for its building,â€ it stated, adding â€œthere seems to be an unwritten law that churches are not welcomed in some states in Northern Nigeria.â€
PFN, therefore, appealed to the National Assembly and the 36 governors to act quickly to arrest what is fast becoming a major crisis in the country, especially at a time when the US government has identified it as a potential terrorist nation.