The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said Kaduna State Government does not respect the church in Nigeria following the reason given on the retraction of earlier plan to demolish St. George Anglican Church Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The CAN President, Rev. Dr Samson Supo Ayokunle in a press statement on Tuesday signed by Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Evang. Barr. Kwamkur Samuel Vondip said the State Government should have been more concerned on the moral values the church has impacted on the people rather than historical value.
“We acknowledge the fact that the Kaduna State Government has decided to retract their threat to demolish the ancient church building which has been standing for over 110 years in that location for historical value of the Church.
“While we commend the Government for taking the bold step to withdraw from their earlier threat to demolish the Cathedral, we are concerned that the only reason for withdrawing such threat is for “historical value” not for the purpose for which the church is built and the blessings it has brought to the immediate communities and the entire nation.
“To us the reason suggests lack of respect for the church in Nigeria and a probability of future threats to other churches without that long ‘history of historical value,’ not only in Zaria but the entire Kaduna State.”
Ayokunle noted that the church has developed the spiritual and moral values of many people in the ancient city for decades and the advance historical reason given by the government is not satisfied.
He said as of the time the church started in that location, there were no many structures in the vicinity that warrant a threat to the existence of the church.
“Nigeria is passing through very critical challenges of insecurity, poverty and high level of joblessness leading to many Nigerians giving up on life to the extend of committing suicide.
“This is the time that calls for more commitment to God and spiritual values are desirable and all arms and tiers of government are expected to recognize this and promote more commitment to God rather than waging war against religious organizations like this.
He noted that some politicians in power have been using their selfish political ambitions and immature political decision to cause political tension in the country.
“We the religious leaders in the country have promised never again to allow any politician or any other group to use their actions or statements to divide us again. Without religious harmony in Nigeria, there cannot be peace and progress.
“We urge those in political leadership never to give flimsy excuse of overriding public interest again in this country to order for the relocation of any church or mosque all over the country.”