The Christian Association of Nigeria should avoid being viewed more as a political voice than a reflection of the exemplary lifestyle of Christ. The creed all Christians (properly so called in name and action) live by is – what would Jesus have done in a particular situation. The question which CAN should ask at the present moment regarding the planned protest against the religious motivated killing of Deborah in Sokoto is: what would Jesus have done?
Admittedly, protests have their use and most often are appropriate when a government fails or refuses to address the interest and concerns of a particular group of the society. However, when indications, no matter how slight, point to the possibility of a further conflagration of an already bad situation, what should be the rational course of action?
CAN should not be blind to other means of pressing its concerns and agitations. One means, amongst several others, is sending a delegation to the appropriate authorities.
Religious beliefs, and all its nuances of interpretation – regardless of validity or logic, have always been a point of latent conflict in Nigeria. The past few days have witnessed Muslim youths in Sokoto State protesting the arrest of the alleged killers of Deborah. In the process, people and properties of other faiths were reportedly attacked. Some sort of peace has been restored, suspectedly by the drastic measures of coercive containment imposed by the State Government. Nerves are still raw nevertheless, with violence simmering just beneath the surface of mutual distrust and misunderstanding prevalent amongst the peoples of Nigeria.
The above is the reason the planned protest of CAN at the moment should be cancelled. I daresay Jesus would have avoided a situation that could, even if wrongly perceived, be provocative and capable of causing further violence. CAN should act likewise.
Odunayo Bamodu, mni,