Primate of the African Church, His Grace, Rev. Emmanuel Udofia, has appealed to members of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, to sheathe their swords and embrace dialogue with the Federal Government.
He said that the statistical update on the attacks by the group revealed a ‘recurring cancerous ailment’ bent on strangulating the country.
Udofia spoke during the 112th General Conference of the church at Ifako, Lagos State.
The three-day annual event had in attendance Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Religious Matters, Dr. Ibrahimoh Akitoye; the Lay President of the church, Evangelist Olubukunola Okunowo; Chairman, Ifako-Ijaye Local Government Area, Toba Oke; bishops of the church, among other dignitaries.
Commending the Federal Government for constituting a 26-man committee to fashion out a peace deal with the sect, he implored the warring members to reciprocate the gesture and lay down their arms.
The cleric said: “I urge Boko Haram to come into the open, declare their identity and mission to enable government bring them to the roundtable for discussion.”
He urged Christians to pray without ceasing, that God might unmask the identities of the Boko Haram members and grant them the grace for repentance.
Udofia added that “the frequent cases of kidnapping in the country have become a ‘terribly bad wound that keeps festering. No one is safe. No area is free of this dastardly act.
“Should we allow it to become a trade where money is extorted at the slightest opportunity?”
He also urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries and desist from importation of petroleum products into the country.
He frowned at the state of some federal highways, describing them as death traps.
Declaring the conference open, Governor Fashola urged the people to be security-conscious and report any suspicious movements to the police.