Do not Relent in Self-defence, COCIN President Urges Plateau People

By Ralph Madugu

The President of the of Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN, Rev. Dr. Amos Mohzo, has advised communities in Plateau State not to relent in protecting their communities against some group of people whom he said “have declared war of genocide on us, and they have eaten deep into our communities.”

The cleric gave the advice in a remark at the opening of the 103rd General Council meeting of the COCIN in Jos.

Mohzo, who expressed concern over the level of insecurity in the country, added “It is with deep concern that I address the issue of insecurity in our beloved nation. The incessant killings, kidnappings and destruction of lives and property by Fulani terrorists in communities across Nigeria, particularly in Southern Kaduna, Bokkos, Mangu, Gindiri, Panyam, Barkin Ladi, Riyom in Plateau and other states are source of great distress for all of us.

“It is particularly troubling that these attacks primarily aim at Christians, their communities, and their worship places.”

The COCIN leadership in a group photograph with Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof. Sonni Tyoden and the Agwom Izere and the Mishkaham Mwaghavul

The COCIN President lamented that “our hope is dashed with the recent attack on some communities in Mangu LGA, where many innocent citizens were brutally butchered and churches/houses burnt to ashes.”

Mohzo called on the Federal Government to intervene as, according to him, it is the responsibility of authorities to ensure the safety and security of all citizens regardless of their religion, ethnicity or any other factor.

While applauding the efforts of the security operatives in the state, the cleric tasked the state government to take “decisive actions” to end the attacks and bring perpetrators to justice.

“The security forces must be adequately equipped and trained to deal with the threat posed by these terrorists.

“Intelligence gathering and sharing must also be improved to prevent attacks before they occur.

“Government must address the root causes of these attacks, including the issue of land grabbing by Fulani terrorists and take steps to ensure peaceful co-existence between all Nigerian communities despite religious differences.”

Agwom Izere Rev. Dr. Isaac Wakili and the Mishkaham Mwaghavul Da John Hirse in attendance at the COCIN GCC Meeting

The COCIN helmsman called on  the people to be vigilant and report suspicious activities to the authorities and promote peaceful co-existence in their communities.

On pastors and politics, he reminded the Council members that their role as pastors in politics “primarily focuses on providing guidance, wisdom and spiritual support” to their congregations rather than advocate for specific political agenda or candidate.

“We have flawed in the just concluded elections in so many ways. As spiritual leaders, we are called to help our congregations navigate the complexities of life, including political issues.

“We can offer guidance on thinking about and engaging with political matters from biblical perspective and encourage our congregants to be responsible citizens and engage in the political process with wisdom and discernment.

“That being said, COCIN pastors should avoid using their platform to endorse specific candidates or parties, as these risks alienating members of their congregation with different political views.”

Cross section of Delegates in session

Earlier in his goodwill message, Gov. Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State thanked the COCIN leadership for the good relationship that existed between the state government and the Church and solicited that such cordial relationship be extended to the incoming government.

Other goodwill messages came from past COCIN leaders including Rev. Prof. Pandang Yamsat and Rev. Dr. Soja Bewarang, who is the current Chairman of the COCIN Board of Trustees, among others.

There were also goodwill messages from the Mishkaham Mwaghavul, Da. John Hirse, the Agwom Izere, Rev. Dr. Isaac Wakili, and the outgoing General Secretary of TEKAN, Rev. Moses Ebuga.

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