NIGERIA EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP CONSULTATION STATEMENT
21-24, NOVEMBER, 2022
“From Contemplation to intentional action-planning”
The Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship, a member of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), held a Consultation on the Impact of Religious Extremism on Missions, in Abuja, Nigeria from the 21-24November, 2022.
The Consultation brought together Bishops, General Overseers, Mission Agencies and resource persons from both Nigeria and the global evangelical community.
There were two full-day sessions on aspects of religious extremism and possible peace building initiatives geared towards peaceful coexistence between all religious groups in Nigeria. The meeting featured a Keynote Address from the President of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) and International Council Chair of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Bishop Dr. Goodwill Shana; General Secretary of AEA, Rev. Dr. Master Matlhaope; Mr. Wissam Al Saliby, Rev. Prof. D. C. Datiri, Rev. James Akinyele, Prof. Yusuf Turaki and Rev. Dr. Gideon Para-Mallam, among other key Church and para-church leaders in the country.
The prevailing concern was the unprecedented rise of violence in Nigeria that has led to thousands of deaths in the country and 3 million Nigerian displaced.
Consultation participants commit to work together with all Christian traditions and those from other religions to preach peace and as we engage in dialogue on how to work together in addressing the challenges in all parts of the country.
Consultation participants call on all evangelicals in Nigeria to pray for the safety and protection of all Nigerians, especially during the ongoing electoral process; to pray for peace among all religious communities; and to pray for those in leadership to be agents of peace and stability in the country.
Consultation participants addressed the following appeals to the government of Nigeria.
- We call on the government to demonstrate political will to protect Nigerians from the pervasive violence. We need security forces to have proximity and effective presence to populations most affected by the violence across the States in Nigeria.
- Fulani herdsmen attacks in the middle belt have led to mass displacement of indigenous people in the region. We urge the government to ensure accountability for the crimes committed and the safe return of those displaced. We urge the government to facilitate the return of the lands occupied by the herdsmen.
- We call on the government to secure the release of all kidnapped citizens and full rehabilitation of the kidnapped victims, such as the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu and others.
- We call on the government to implement the Federal Character provision in the Constitution that provides equal distribution of political and federal appointments, recognising ethnic and religious diversity in Nigeria and competence.
- We call on the government to hold accountable all responsible for brutal killings of people like Deborah Samuel in Sokoto, Eunice Elisha in Abuja, Bridgette Agbahime in Kano and others.
- We call on the government and related bodies to remove all barriers for citizens eligible to vote to obtain voters’ card.
- We call on the government to fully implement the Electoral Act passed into law recently without political, ethnic or religious bias or favouritism.
- All those running for the upcoming elections in February 2023 should denounce all forms of violence connected to the election.
- We call on the government to proactively prevent violence in the electoral process by stopping small arms proliferation in the hands of citizens.