…Warns Against Sentiments in its Fold
By Ralph Madugu
The leadership of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) has described the Boko Haram insurgency as an embarrassment to Nigeria and a “very disturbing scenario.”
COCIN President, Rev. Dr. Dachollom Chumang Datiri, stated this in his address at the opening of the ongoing 99th General Church Council meeting of the denomination holding in Jos, Plateau State.
The cleric, who spoke on the state of the nation and other Church related matters said: “It only portrays that either a government that is colluding with this terrorist sect or one that is confused or a failed government.”
While calling on government to rise up to her responsibility, Rev. Datiri cautioned that, if that was not done, the country would be overrun by terror groups.
He also maintained that Nigeria was already in a “miserable situation” in which the lives of innocent families had been impoverished and plunged into extreme trauma due to the alarming rates of kidnappings, armed robbery and banditry.
“Unfortunately, government seems unconcerned. For us, by this coming Wednesday 19th May, Rev. Polycarp Zongo will be seven months in the hands of his captors. Our hearts have continued to bleed all this while, but to no avail. Nevertheless, we cannot give up and lose hope. We must continue to hold on to our faith and intensify our fervency in prayer.”
According to Datiri, security was an issue of serious concern, hence God holds leaders accountable for the lives and property citizens and pointed out that the deplorable security situation in Nigeria called for a rethink in strategy.
On the incessant attacks on communities all over the country, Datiri questioned thus: “What has happened to the professional Nigerian army that is praised for its clinical and successful roles in keeping peace in other countries?
“And what has happened to our police force? Is our security overwhelmed? Or has our security been commandeered to pursue the agenda of the terrorists? These are questions the Nigerian Government must answer.”
The COCIN President lamented that rising inflation was making hard for families to afford two square meals a day and tasked the Government to overhaul the nation’s economic policies.
On Church related matters, the COCIN President warned against “sentiments that have crept into the Church with their deadly venom.”
Said he: “This is my penultimate GCC, and I must begin to warn against sentiments that have crept into the Church with their deadly venom. We must accept that tribal, sectional, educational sentiments and cliques etc exist among us and deal with them decisively, or else we will only be deceiving ourselves and eventually consume ourselves.
“In the course of our voyage, the boat COCIN encountered a terribly deadly storm last November. The storm was so fierce that it threatened our very existence. As the captain of this voyage, I felt the scourge more than anyone else. It felt like the enemy was determine to humiliate me, rubbish me and the council, destroy my reputation.”
On prayer and revival, which he described as “the life-wire of the Church,” Datiri warned that “nobody should play with this should play with this arm of the Church because God will deal in wrath with such a person.”
He disclosed that the unit came into being by a clear instruction from God, adding that it was only now that he was beginning to understanding why God instructed its formation.
The COCIN President reiterated that as a denomination with a vision of a matured Church committed to the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ and impacting the world till His return, it must continue to pursue discipleship with vigour as according to him, it is the essence of the Christian calling stating that “one who is not a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a Christian.”
“We are called to be disciples for life and to make disciples of all nations. We never graduate from being disciples and are never excused from making disciples.”
He further remarked that the Church must continue to reach out until the whole world hears the Good News hence the Church should not grow slack in pursuing missions and evangelism.
On patronizing the church outfits, Rev. Dr. Datiri advocated for a legislation to be in place to ensure adequate patronage of COCIN outfits by members.
“We talked about this last year, but still need to stress it aging because there is very little improvement. This is clearly unwise and we may need some form of legislation on this.”
While commending the Plateau State Government for its support to the Church and Karl Kumm, the cleric prayed for more wisdom to lead the state to greater height.
He particularly thanked the Gov. Lalong for the donation of the land beside the COCIN Headquarters and a 250 KVA Mikano Generator to COCIN.
Earlier in his goodwill remarks, Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong represented by his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden cheered the church for the successful election of its Vice President and the approval granted for the full take-off of Karl Kumm University by the National University Commissions.
The governor who acknowledged that Nigeria need more prayers now than ever before emphasized that what the country is currently experiencing calls for serious prayers for God to intervene in the situation urging that if the Church was praying less, there is need for prayers.