No fewer than 120 Church leaders from various denomination within the South-East have proffered solution to lingering insecurity and other challenges in the country at a Consultative Peace Summit held in Enugu.
The Church leaders, at the meeting on Saturday, advocated fair representation of zones in government, non-selective justice and improved border security as a panacea to lasting peace and unity in the country.
Speaking, Bishop Goddy Okafor, Chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) South-East, said that the summit was a right step in the right direction, adding, “no nation can make progress in an atmosphere of chaos’’.
“Peace is required, if we as a people in the country want to make progress. This summit has reawakened our consciousness to follow peace and allow peace to reign.
“I call on all to follow the path of peace for all of us to make progress as well as join the government to fight all forms of challenges against peace in the country’’.
Contributing, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church Circuit, Abia, noted that there might be no peace if there was injustice and marginalisation of any section of the country religiously, socio-economically and politically.
Also speaking Rev. Okechukwu Obiora, Pastor of Living Word Outreach International, Onitsha, urged both Federal and state governments to do more on youth engagement and empowerment via skill acquisition.
“I believe the violence and vices in the zone can be checked if almost all our youths will be gainful employed and there is no idle person within communities in the zone,’’ Obiora said.
Pastor Nkechi Nnamani, with Assembly of Love and Charity Ministries, Enugu, advocated the development of the country to create more socio-economic and healthy competition among the various zones.
Nnamani also called on the government at all levels to give women more slots and visibility in the political space; while urging all to support the girl-child education and empowerment of women in general.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, said that from issues discussed, the commission would make necessary recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari, “who as a father will look into them all’’.
Pam said that recommendations that needed instant implementation would be done while the process of kick-starting those that would take a longer time will also take place.
“The Church leaders in the South-East have vehemently raised issues of social injustice; lack of adequate representation in appointive positions in government among others.
“However, the Church leaders unanimously agreed that we must co-exist and live together as one indivisible entity and country.
“They all believed and agreed that we have more to gain in living together as one entity; while we all work towards sustaining peace,’’ he said.
The executive secretary noted that the Church leaders also helped to proffer solutions to their grievances and other issues complained about especially those threatening peace in the zone.
“I am delighted and so will be Mr President as the Church leaders also on their own proffered practical solutions to all these challenges. All these I will take back to President Buhari as well.
“I am satisfied with the meeting as well as a very large turn up of Church leaders in the zone to discuss peace in the country,’’ he added.
The consultative peace summit was organised by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission.