Although Christians have been victims of various killings in the country perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the peace-making efforts of the church should not be misunderstood to be a weakness, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), has warned.
The Christian body said that there was no law prohibiting Christians from defending themselves because if pushed to the wall, the church could react.
The President of PFN, Rev. Felix Omobude, issued the warning during a meeting with Christians at the Living Faith Bible Church (aka Winners Chapel) in Jos, after paying a condolence visit to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on the killing of over 200 persons in three Local Government Areas by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
He said, “We call on the government to fish out the perpetrators of this evil across the land. We want to see them get punished; we want to see them answer for their crimes. What has happened in the past, and when it happens like this, is that the most the government will say is to condemn it. We want to see beyond mere condemnation. We want those shielding these evil men to be exposed.
“We will continue to call on Christians to follow the path of peace in line with the injunctions of our faith. I want to sound it unequivocally that the people perpetrating this evil should not think they have a monopoly of violence. The peace drive and peace-making efforts of the church should not be misunderstood to be a weakness. If pushed to the wall, the church can react. There is no law that forbids Christians from defending themselves. We cannot continue to be on the receiving end.”
Omobude said the recent killings in Plateau State had touched the leadership of the PFN and “we are here to tender our condolences to the government and people of Plateau state.”
He said, “On the occasion of this visit, the PFN is calling on the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the challenge and secure the lives and properties of Nigerians. It is the primary responsibility that the government owes the people.
“We call on the governments, federal and states, especially when we understand that one of the campaign promises of this present Federal Government was security, to protect lives and properties. Never in the history of this nation has innocent blood been shed across the land as we are witnessing. Our security agencies should rise to the challenge. A nation that cannot secure the lives and properties of her people is not yet free.”
The cleric also called on Christians in particular and Nigerians in general to use the opportunity of the nation’s democracy to endorse good leaders and vote out the bad eggs in the 2019 general elections.
Omobude also opposed the proposed ranching policy of the Federal Government saying in Europe, United Kingdom and America, people consume beef, adding, “yet, you don’t see cows being paraded on the streets.”