The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Supo Ayokunle, as well as top members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and other Christian bodies, including the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Saturday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “completely scrap” the suspended Rural Grazing Area scheme, popularly known as Ruga.
This was disclosed at the Church leaders stakeholders’ summit, themed, ‘RUGA: The church’s response in the 21st century,’ which held at the ShepherdHill Baptist Church, in Lagos on Saturday.
Other church leaders present at the summit included the President of the Christian Council of Nigeria, Most Rev Benebo Fubara-Manuel; President of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Dr Napo Emuchey; Vice-President of CAN, Rev Caleb Ahima, and the acting General Secretary, CAN, Mr Joseph Daramola.
However, the President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rev Felix Omobude; the Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr David Oyedepo; and the President, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, were billed to attend the summit, according to the programme of the event, but they were absent.
But the spokesperson for CAN, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, said all the blocs of the Christian body were represented at the meeting.
Reacting to observations that Omobude was not in attendance, Oladeji said the cleric was out of the country.
He added, “Though he could not make it to the meeting because he is out of the country, he sent a representative. All the blocs making up CAN were fully represented at the meeting and they all endorsed the decisions and resolutions.”
Speaking at the summit, which centred on insecurity in the country, the CAN president said the association’s involvement in the debate was needed as CAN, which is the umbrella body for all Christians in the country, could not fold its arms when the church was “hurting very badly at the hands of Fulani herdsmen.”
A one-minute silence was observed at the event in honour of Rev Fr David Tank, who was ambushed and brutally killed by bandits at Kufai Amadu in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State on August 29.
The slain cleric, who was set ablaze in his vehicle, was said to be on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv/Jukun crisis.