By Luminous Jannamike
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Olasupo Ayokunle, has called on political leaders to eschew ethnic and religious bias, saying God has promised to make Nigeria great but that will not be possible without love.
Ayokunle spoke at the 60th Independence Anniversary Inter-denominational church service, in Abuja on Sunday evening.
The CAN President, while commenting on the state of the nation, after 60 years of existence, said a country that is ethnically plural like Nigeria can only stay united with discrimination of any sort.
He added, “A nation that is religiously plural like ours requires love in practice so as to co-exist without fighting one another.
“We have killings here and there in our nation today, especially in the past ten years the way it never happened in this nation before.”
Ayokunle also said Nigeria’s abundant human and material resources in different parts of this country, underscores the indispensability of all the regions and ethnic groups.
“For us all to be on the same page, for everybody to have sense of belonging and be happy, the doctrine of equality, that is equal access to employment, governance and education, etc must be available to all.
“The principle of inclusivity as well must be adopted. Nobody or region must be excluded from the scheme of things in Nigeria. We must not allow exclusion in any form to manifest in our national life because that would be dangerous for our pilgrimage or voyage together. All ethnic and religious groups must be given equal opportunity in the way we do things.
“To many of us in Nigeria today, with all our education and religion, in my opinion, there is so much bitterness and hatred of one another in us.
“This is where we are in the situation we are today! If we continue like this, our nation cannot be great.
“Through love, let there be care for one another. This nation is blessed with human and material resources, let us engage them for our general good. It is in serving our generation according to the will of God alone that we can live meaningful life. It is in serving our generation through love that this nation can be one and great indeed.
“Let us wake up the sleeping and crippled giant Nigeria through love.
“Let us end the bloodshed and all forms of discrimination in our midst through love to enable us experience the joy of togetherness.”