By Stanley Onyekwere
In furtherance of ongoing efforts to restore normalcy in the aftermath of the mayhem that followed the EndSARS protest, Christian leaders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have declared commitment to the promotion and sustenance of peace in the Territory.
A statement from the Office of the FCT Administration’s Chief Press Secretary, disclosed that the religious leaders’ assertion was one of the resolutions reached at a stakeholders meeting held with leaders of the Christian Community, Friday last week, in Abuja.
According to the statement signed and made available yesterday by the FCTA’ Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, the clergymen also pledged to explore the power of the pulpit to encourage their congregants to maintain peaceful co-existence with followers of other faiths in the FCT.
It reads: “The meeting which was chaired by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello had in attendance the Chairman of the FCT chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Samson Jonah, the State House Chaplain, Pastor Seyi Malomo and heads of the various Christian denominations in the FCT.
“Also at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary FCTA Mr Olusade Adesola, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu the Executive Secretary of the FCDA, Engr Umar Gambo Jibrin, the representative of the FCT Commissioner of Police, ACP Nendel Gomwalk, the State Director of the DSS and relevant senior staff of the FCTA.
The Christian leaders noted that the FCT has always been a home to all Nigerians where residents can practice their faith without hindrance and stated that nothing should be allowed to overturn this situation.
“The Christian leaders also condemned the wanton destruction of property which occurred in the wake of the ENDSARS protests and stated unequivocally that the demonstrations should be halted as the Federal Government had acceded to the five demands of the youths and requested that they eschew violence in any form.
“They also commended the FCT Administration for the proactive steps it took in ensuring that the demonstrations did not degenerate into ethno-religious crises and commended the FCT Minister for the on-the-spot assessment tours and visits to the damaged and looted business premises.”
It continues: “The religious leaders were also informed that the Presidential Panel of Inquiry on the disbanded SARS would receive complaints from the FCT. Residents are enjoined to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the panel.
“The religious leaders expressed regret that the agricultural inputs stored by the FCTA Agric Secretariat intended for dry season farming were also looted and vandalized.
“On the issue of community policing, the religious leaders were also informed that 2500 special constabularies have been recruited for which they expressed satisfaction and commended the FCTA and FCT police command.
“The meeting noted that it was essential that efforts are made to understand the nation’s youthful population so as to engage with them.
“ The meeting also called for an early resolution of the ongoing ASUU strike so that students can go back to school. The Christian leaders appealed for immediate and long term plans to check youth unemployment.”