A coalition of Christian groups, led by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the South-West, at the weekend urged the investigators of the Synagogue building collapse to treat the General Overseer of the church, Pastor T. B. Joshua with dignity and respect.
Addressing a press conference on the state of the nation in Lagos, the groups headed by Archbishop Magnus Adeyemi Atilade, warned against any attempt to use the incident to clamp down on other churches in Lagos by over zealous government officials, who had been harassing churches for building approvals.
“T. B. Joshua is a servant of God and whatever happens, he deserves some respect and dignity, because he could not have wished anything bad for his church members.
“Nobody is saying that the government should not probe the Synagogue incident to prevent future occurrences, but it should not be turned into instrument of vendetta,” Archbishop Atilade said.
The coalition also called on the Federal Government to make the release of the abducted Chibok girls a pre-condition for peace pact with Boko Haram, and engage the services of experts and tacticians to handle the peace negotiation with the insurgents in order not to play into their hands or used the girls as a bait to commit further atrocities.
Other groups in the coalition are the Christian Welfare Initiatives (CWI), Inter Faith Coalition for Dialogue and Peace International (INFERDPEL), The New Nigeria Group, Christian Front for Democracy, Under Grass Root For Growth Initiative (Ibadan), United Christian Campaign Organization (Ekiti, Ondo, Osun states) and the Alliance for Christian Democracy (Ogun State).
Archbishop Atilade, who is the chairman Christian CAN South-West and national president of the Christian Welfare Initiative (CWI), said the announcement of the ceasefire agreement between the government and Boko Haram was too hasty and called for sincerity and good faith from the insurgents.
Atilade noted that Christians in the North had been at the receiving end of the Boko Haram heinous activities, killing over 75,000 Christians and destroying over 2,900 churches, apart from their properties.