The Oasis Reporters
May 30, 2018
The leader of the Lutheran churches in the world and the Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), Most Rev. Panti Filibus Musa recognized the National Democracy Day of Nigeria in Numan the Headquarters of the LCCN. The May 29th Democracy Day celebration of 2019 coincided with the General Church Council (GCC) of the LCCN.
Delivering his opening speech at the GCC, the Archbishop asked the council members to stand up in honor of Democracy day in Nigeria. He wished Nigeria and Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day Celebration.
In his speech the Christian leader said Nigeria has learned a lot in the 19 years of democracy and he prayed that the future of the country shall be better for the benefit of all citizens of the country.
The Archbishop however, lamented that the state of the nation has been onerous considering the spate of violence and killings that is going on in various parts of the country.
“It is most saddening that the senseless killings and attacks on our people continues unabated,” the Archbishop stated. He said the most disturbing is the way the attackers seem to carry out their dastardly acts without fear of the law. “we are disturbed by the monstrous acts of our attackers and killers, who raid, ransack and set ablaze our villages and towns, sometimes in broad daylight.”
Archbishop Musa pleaded with the church not to give up on calling upon God’s mercy for Nigeria.
“I plead with us to never give up in prayers and hope for “one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity” and “…a nation where peace and justice shall reign” as enshrined in our national anthem.”
He called on the people to cooperate with security agencies and the government to bring a lasting solution to the killings.
“I call us to continue to cooperate with security operatives and put pressure on our government at all levels to rise to their responsibility of protecting citizens from internal and external aggression.”
Archbishop Filibus called on the church to maintain its role of being peacemakers and bridge builders.
“Let us not give up our roles as peacemakers being followers of Christ, the prince of Peace”, and further added, “we cannot compromise on this principle and our Christian commitment, despite the shameless hostility against us.”
But he reiterated that the church will “continue to condemn in strongest terms possible the brutal and gruesome killings of innocent citizens.”
The Archbishop said, “It will be 20 years next year since Nigeria transited from military rule to a democratic system of government in 1999. It will also be another opportunity for us to decide who would be our leaders at all levels of government for the next four years.” He reminded the church members of their civic responsibility and the prophetic responsibility of the church in determining the good of all people.
“In a democratic system we can participate in ensuring that those who are godly are elected in authority. It is not only our civic responsibility but also our Christian obligation to participate in the sociopolitical and economic life of our country.”
Most Rev Musa called on the church members to ensure they did not disenfranchise themselves by refusing to obtain their voters’ cards. He said democracy is working and people must understand that it is working. “I want all of us to disabuse our minds from the idea that votes will be rigged; therefore you will not go and cast your votes. Please, take it to heart that your vote will count and it will count.”
The Archbishop acknowledged that he is aware of the church members and leaders’ commitment in prayers for Nigeria.
“I know many of us are praying and even fasting for this country.” But he said people must get involved in order to make the desired difference. “…we must equally get involved in all political negotiations and processes.”
The Archbishop called on the church members to be seriously involved in farming activities as the rains are here again.
“The rainy season is back. Let us go to the farm. As many have the possibility especially those in the rural areas, let us take farming more seriously.”
He advised that everyone must be security conscious as they go about their normal businesses. “…let us be vigilant when we are out there at our farms.”
The Archbishop prayed for fruitful deliberations during the General Church Council. LCCN holds a bi-annual General Church council that comes up in May and November every year.
The General Church Council is the highest decision making body of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria.