By THERESA ONWUGHALU and SEYE OJO
Spiritual Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church Movement Worldwide, Most Reverend Samuel Abidoye, yesterday told the Federal Government to negotiate with Boko Haram for peaceful settlement of enmity of the group against the country.
The negotiation, he believes, would lead to amicable resolution of the insurgencies of the group, the way the 1998 Good Friday Agreement set a blueprint for peaceful settlement of violent conflicts between protestants unionists, who seek to keep the province, a permanent part of Britain, and the mainly Catholic republicans, who want a united Ireland.
Apart from the fact that the agreement led to shifting control of the province’s police from Britain to local governments, it came after months of disputes that brought the government to the brink of collapse, and required the intervention of the prime ministers of Britain and Ireland. Abidoye gave the charge during a visit to the Corporate Headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited, Lagos ahead of investiture and inauguration of Right Revd. (Dr.) Solomon Akinsanya, as the chairman, Ewu-Tuntun District Sub Headquarters, slated to hold later this week at No 1 Anthony Obe Street, Off Beesam Toll-Gate, Ewu-Tuntun, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos.
Abidoye, who was accompanied by some senior officers of the church, was received by Editor, Daily Sun, Mr. Steve Nwosu, Editor, Soccer Star, Mr. Kunle Solaja, Deputy Editor, Saturday Sun, Mr. Bruce Malogo, Internal Audit Manager, Mr. Johnson Ogwumike and Principal Human Resource Manager, Pastor Patrick Enilama. According to Abidoye: “Let’s listen to what they want to say. Let us try to educate them. Let them know when you will discuss with them. When you understand the situation, you will understand their position and we’ll come to a position where we can get settlement or peace.
“How many lives have been lost? Of these lives that have been lost, tell me how many children of the minister or the president were among them?” On whether Nigeria should accept the terms set by Boko Haram, Abidoye advised: “We should know what they want. They cannot just be killing people. There must be reasons. What do they want? Is it because they don’t want us to go to the Western world civilisation? “If we say yes, let them understand; most of them use pen to write, they use sophisticated instruments.
They were made by the Western world. Then, if you don’t want us to go with them, why do you use them?” Answering questions on incessant bombings of churches in the North, Abidoye, who stated that members of the movement used red girdles to differentiate themselves from members of other Cherubim and Seraphim churches, urged all Christians to jettison denominational divides and pray as one body to nip the menace in the bud. He also urged adherents of other religions to pray for peace to reign in the country. “I could remember one day, we travelled off to a church and to go back home became a problem.
We had to wait on the soldiers to bring us back to our area. That is what we suffer there (North).” Commenting on some leaders that have acquired private jets, Abidoye declared that if he was given money to buy a jet, he would not buy it. Instead, he would use the money to enhance God’s work and help the needy in the society. But he did not condemn those who have acquired private jets.
The Spiritual Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church Movement Worldwide that started in 1941 as a group in Kaduna also has pieces of advice for Nigerians on the forthcoming African Nations Cup scheduled to hold in South Africa in January 2013. He enjoined all and sundry to pray for the success of the country at the tournament.