“Bring everybody on board”: Christian Leaders in Nigerian State to New Government

Nigeria's President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Lagos State under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have called on the newly-elected government to “bring everyone on board” in their quest to build a new nation.

In a statement issued Sunday, April 16, the leadership of CAN in Lagos State urges President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to “build bridges across the different socio-cultural groups towards reuniting the country for holistic growth and development.”

“We should bring everybody on board. Nobody can solve the problem of Nigeria alone. All of us will solve it together,” CAN members say in the statement signed by the Methodist church leader, Bishop Stephen Adegbite.

Members of the Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) further say that in realizing togetherness, “we’ll have a better Nigeria and it’s going to be well with all and sundry in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.”

On March 1, Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared the ruling party candidate, winner of the presidential election, BBC News reported.


INEC leadership announced that Mr. Tinubu garnered 8.8 million votes against 6.9 million garnered by Mr. Abubakar and Mr. Obi’s 6.1 million votes. 

However, Nigeria’s main opposition parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) disputed the results, accusing the INEC of not uploading the presidential results from the polling stations.

In their April 16 statement, CAN members in Lagos State urge politicians and religious leaders “to be mindful of their statements and avoid heating up the polity.”

“They need to be careful. And we must not mislead the people,” CAN members say in reference to politicians and faith leaders in Nigeria.

They further urge politicians to “desist from making unguided statements that are capable of threatening the peace of the country.”

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“If we have voted and INEC has announced the results, we should give peace a chance. Everyone has a place to seek relief and that is the tribunal,” CAN members in Lagos State say, and add, “Once you are in the tribunal, then we should not cause any mayhem in the society. We should allow people to go about their normal business.”

They underscore the need to give the judicial institutions in the West African nation a chance to complete the process, while maintaining order, saying, “If there is no peace there is nobody that will be able to move around.”

“Let us encourage our people to continue to pray together and also say to the winner that they must be magnanimous in victory,” CAN members in Lagos State say in their April 16 statement.

On March 29, a Catholic Archbishop in the West African nation expressed the hope that pending the court ruling on the Presidential election, President-elect Tinubu could “behave differently, and that he could succeed in resolving some of the challenges President Muhammadu Buhari failed to address.

Archbishop Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso of Kaduna Archdiocese said that unlike President Buhari, Mr. Tinubu's experiences can help him contain Islamic radicalism in Africa's most populous nation.


“If at the end of the day, he (Tinubu) wins in the court and is sworn in, given the part of the country he comes from, and his background, I think he will behave differently [to Buhari],” Archbishop Man-Oso Ndagoso said in the report that the Catholic charity and Pontifical foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), published.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.