Nigeria’s Christian Leaders Urge New President to Prioritize Security, Economic Issues

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Nigeria’s new President,  who was sworn in on Monday, May 29 needs to prioritize the security concerns and the economic struggles of the people of God in the West African nation, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have said. 

In a statement issued shortly after his inauguration, the President of the entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) urges President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to work with all Nigerians “regardless of their political, ethnic and religious leanings”.

“Nigeria is facing a number of challenges that require strong and decisive leadership,” Rev. Daniel Okoh says, and adds, “From security concerns to economic struggles, it is clear that there is much work to be done in order to ensure that Nigeria can reach its full potential.”

Rev. Okoh urges President Tinubu to “prioritize these issues and to work tirelessly to find lasting solutions that will improve the livelihoods of the people of Nigeria.”

He challenges the new President to engage “the active participation of all Nigerians” in view of surmounting “all obstacles to emerge stronger than ever.”


The President of CAN also challenges citizens of Africa’s most populous nation to “come together as a people with a spirit of unity and a great sense of accommodation to form a potent force.”

In his message following the May 29 swearing in event despite the pending presidential election petition, CAN leadership congratulates Mr. Tinubu, saying, “I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the new President of Nigeria … as he assumes office today.”

“This is a momentous occasion for Nigeria, and we wish President Tinubu well as he takes on the responsibilities of leading our great nation,” Rev. Okoh says, and wishes the new President “all the best as he begins the onerous task of leading Nigeria at this time of our national history.”

The victory of the 70-year-old Nigerian politician, winner of the February 25 poll by Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is being challenged in court by Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).

In his inaugural address, the successor of Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the competitive nature of the February 25 general elections, describing them as “hard-fought and of a better quality than previous ones.”

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71-year-old Tinubu who was sworn in at the 5,000-capacity Eagle Square in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, amid enhanced security said he was “spreading his hand across the political divide.”

Neither of the two main opposition politicians challenging Mr. Tinubu’s election in a court petition were present at his inauguration. And according to the Associated Press (AP), “Many Nigerians tweeted in protest to Tinubu’s inauguration.”

The Monday, May 29 AP report indicates that the verdict of the court petition “is due in about three weeks”.

“If the opposition challenges are upheld, it would be the first time a presidential election would be nullified by the court in Nigeria’s history,” AP has reported.

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has described as “perplexing” the swearing in of Mr. Tinubu despite the fact that the Presidential election petition has not yet been heard and determined.


Earlier this month, Nigeria’s John Cardinal Onaiyekan said the delay in delivering the Presidential petition verdict following the country’s disputed presidential poll put the West African nation in an “anomalous situation”.

On his part, the Catholic Bishop of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese , Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, has cautioned the country’s new leadership against the thinking that all is well in the country.

The vocal Nigerian Catholic Bishop who was speaking at the 2023 presidential inauguration lecture held in Abuja on May 27 called on Mr. Tinubu to identify what is behind the “scars, wounds and injuries” of Nigerians even as he prioritizes their healing.

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.