From a release by Zakariya Musa, EYN Communications
Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has hosted the 64th annual assembly of TEKAN at EYN headquarters in Kwarhi, Nigeria. TEKAN stands for the Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria and includes 15 primarily Hausa-speaking denominations, making it the largest Christian ecumenical body in Nigeria.
The theme of the gathering Jan. 8-13 was “Church: God’s Light in Darkness.” EYN completed construction of a large new conference and office complex in advance of hosting the gathering of some 200 church leaders from across Nigeria.
The full text of the assembly communique follows:
COMMUNIQUE OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN NIGERIA:
KNOWN IN HAUSA AS “TARAYYAR EKKLESIYOYIN KRISTI A NIJERIYA” (TEKAN) 64TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY HELD AT THE EKKLESIYAR YAN’UWA A NIJERIYA (EYN) HEADQUARTERS, KWARHI, HONG LGA, ADAMAWA STATE FROM 8TH -13TH JANUARY, 2019.
The Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria otherwise known as TEKAN, is a fellowship that has been in existence for over 64 years and has about 30 million members cutting across 15 denominational churches with traceable evangelical ancestry, theological affinity and Christian belief. The churches are:
1) Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN)
2) Nongo u Kristu u i Ser u sha Tar (NKST)
3) Christian Reformed Church- Nigeria (CRC-N)
4) Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa A Nijeriya (EYN)
5) Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN)
6) Reformed Church of Christ for Nations (RCCN)
7) United Methodist Church in Nigeria (UMCN)
8) Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC)
9) Mambila Baptist Convention- Nigeria (MBC-N)
10) Evangelical Church of Christ in Nigeria (ECCN)
11) United Church of Christ in Nations (UCCN-HEKAN)
12) Nigeria Reformed Church (NRC)
13) All Nations Christian Assembly (ANCA)
14) United Missionary Church of Africa (UMCA)
15) Christian Evangelical Fellowship of Nigeria (CEFN)
2. ATTENDANCE: The Assembly had in attendance the President of TEKAN; Rev. Dr. Caleb Solomon Ahima, all the TEKAN Executive Council Members, Members of the Board of Trustees, Advisers, Presidents and General Secretaries of Member Churches, delegates and other invited dignitaries.
3. THEME OF THE ASSEMBLY: The Assembly was held under the Theme: “Church: God’s Light in Darkness” (Matthew 5:16). The Assembly makes a commitment to be light in the midst of prevailing darkness that has engulfed the nation and reemphasizes the fact that as Christians we are called upon to emulate the life of Jesus Christ and shine the light in all our endeavors.
The Assembly, in addition to glorious worship services and admonitions on the need for sacrificial love and relationship, resolves to pursue and stand for the truth, equity, fair play and the course of the gospel in all circumstances.
4. CONDOLENCES: The Assembly expresses heartfelt condolences to TEKAN Member Churches who lost their beloved ones after the last General Assembly and all those directly and indirectly affected by the horrific acts of the marauding Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists in parts of Nigeria particularly Borno, Zamfara, Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau and Nasarawa States among others.
5. ON ENVIRONMENT: The Assembly notes with concern the high level of environmental degradation occasioned by gully erosions, oil spillages, desertification and its impact on the society and economy of the nation and calls on Government, well-meaning Nigerians and Member-Churches to take drastic measures to redress the anomaly and also clothe the earth of its current nakedness by ensuring that they plant trees annually.
6. ON SECURITY:
i) The Assembly acknowledges the effort of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari in reducing the activities of the insurgents and reclaiming some of the Local Government Areas in the North East Nigeria which were hitherto under the control of the terrorists. At the same time the Assembly calls on the Government to do more to stop the persisted activities of the terrorists, ensure the return of the displaced persons to their homes and provide the communities with needed relief measures and financial support to rebuild their destroyed homes and worship places.
ii) The Assembly condemns strongly the unabated kidnappings and killings of Nigerians particularly that of late Agwom Adara in Kaduna State; His Royal Highness Dr Maiwada Galadima JP, the gruesome murder of the former Chief of Defense Staff, Chief Air Marshal Alex Badeh, Major General Jibril Alkali, the soldiers and other security officers in the field and is concerned that if leaders and security experts of their likes can be cheaply killed, then ordinary Nigerians are surely not safe, if the international community led by the United Nations will not come to the help of the country.
iii) The Assembly is deeply saddened by the continuous killings and destruction of property of her numerous members and innocent Nigerians around the country by Fulani herdsmen and persons masquerading as Boko Haram, kidnappers and “unknown gunmen” and wonders why the Government has not done enough to stop the menace despite the outcry by the affected and well-meaning Nigerians. The Assembly calls on the Federal Government to fully assume its constitutional responsibility and immediately address the issues.
vi) The Assembly is dissatisfied that despite several calls and agitations from well-meaning Nigerians and organizations, particularly TEKAN, to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the true reflection of Federal Character in the appointments and operations of the security apparatus in the nation, he has remained indifferent. The Assembly believes that the unbalanced appointments are largely responsible for the interminable state of insecurity in the country and reiterates that the appointment of security chiefs should adequately reflect the Federal Character urgently as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
v) The Assembly is deeply pained that the Federal Government is yet to secure the release of Miss Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity because of her faith in Jesus and Chibok School Girls in Boko Haram custody despite repeated promises by President Muhamadu Buhari to ensure their release.
7. PROSECUTION OF PERPETRATORS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES:
i) While the Assembly demands a concrete action on the prosecution of the perpetrators of attacks on the communities, the Assembly rejects the situation where the victims are turned into perpetrators as seen in some cases in Kaduna, Benue and Plateau States.
ii) The Assembly calls on the Federal and State Governments to give premium attention to the protection and defense of the fundamental rights of citizens which is the fulcrum upon which genuine democracy is built. It urges the Federal Government to respect the independence of the Judiciary and also ensure the immediate release of detainees who have been granted bail like Shiite leader Elzakzaki, Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki and many others in continuous detention.
8. ON STATE OF THE ECONOMY:
i) While the Assembly appreciates the efforts by the Government to provide food to the nation through improved agricultural mechanization and creating jobs to the youth through the N-Power, the Assembly is concerned at the deplorable state of the nation’s economy and encourages government to step up the said activities and also provide credit facilities and enabling environment for young Nigerians without barrier who have the potentials and are willing to go into businesses to excel in their chosen careers.
ON GENDER EQUALITY: The Assembly strongly calls on Civil Society, Nigerians and all constituted authorities to fight against gender discrimination/dichotomy that has placed women at disadvantage in terms of training, job selections and descriptions due to cultural and social constraints to ensure self-enhancement, self-emancipation and self-reliance of all citizens without border.
9. ON 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS:
i) Mindful of the forth-coming General Elections in the country and the challenges associated with it, the Assembly calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to honor his commitment to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
ii) The Assembly also urges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain impartial, transparent, and ensure that the wishes of the people are respected in all the elections.
iii) The Assembly demands that the security agencies be professional in discharging their statutory duties and not to be partisan or seen to be partisan.
iv) The Assembly calls on political parties, candidates and supporters to conduct themselves in a manner that will guarantee peaceful coexistence of the country even after the elections by avoiding inflammatory statements or undertaking activities that are inimical to peace.
v) The Assembly calls on the youths to reject being used for any form of violence and other behaviors capable of destroying their dreams and ambitions for the future.
vi) The Assembly is sad that vote buying and selling is becoming the order of the day and calls on Nigerians to avoid vote selling and buying in whatever form and encourages INEC and security agents to ensure the prosecution of those found wanting.
vii) The Assembly urges her members and other Nigerians to participate actively in the election processes and also turnout en-masse to vote for the candidates of their choice and protect their votes to ensure that leaders that will bring sanity and sanctity to the nation are elected to power.
10. PRAYERS: The Assembly calls on Christians and all well-meaning Nigerians to be more committed to prayers for the forth-coming general elections and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, region and religion. Consequently, the Assembly has declared 30th January, 2019 for fasting and prayers for the nation by all her members.
11. CONCLUSION: The Assembly appreciates the Almighty God for successful deliberations and admonishes her Member-churches to continue to be committed to the worship of God, propagation of the gospel, peace-loving and shine the light of Christ in spite of the level of persecution and provocations in the environment they reside in.
Rev. Dr. Caleb Solomon Ahima, TEKAN President
Rev. Moses Jatau Ebuga, TEKAN General Secretary