02 Jan Nigeria: CAN Advocates for Peaceful Conflict Resolution Amidst Firearms Debate
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
As the debate over the right of Nigerians to bear firearms intensifies, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has weighed in, offering a perspective that emphasizes the importance of upholding the law and promoting peaceful means of conflict resolution. The response comes in the wake of recent statements made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, who expressed reservations about allowing citizens to openly carry firearms in Nigeria.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard in Abuja on January 1, 2024, Pastor Simon Dolly, the Secretary of CAN for the North-Central Zone, underscored the organization’s stance on the matter. He articulated that CAN, as a body of religious leaders, firmly believes that the bearing of arms without proper license or authority, regardless of the circumstances, constitutes a violation of the law and has the potential to contribute to the breakdown of order and security within the nation.
Pastor Simon Dolly emphasized the duty of faith leaders to advocate for lawful and peaceful means of conflict resolution. Instead of supporting the proliferation of arms, CAN encourages prayer for peace in the nation and urges its followers to actively support the government in fulfilling its primary responsibility of protecting the lives and property of all citizens.
The secretary of CAN for the North-Central Zone stressed the values of tolerance, brotherliness, unity, forgiveness, and cooperation in the teachings and interactions with followers. These values, according to CAN, are essential for fostering a harmonious and secure society.
Acknowledging the complexities surrounding the issue of firearms in Nigeria, Pastor Simon Dolly called for a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of insecurity. He appealed to leaders to prioritize initiatives promoting dialogue, understanding, and the equitable distribution of resources to address the grievances that often lead to violence and conflict.
As the nation grapples with security challenges, the CAN’s stance provides a moral and ethical perspective on the ongoing debate. The organization emphasizes the need for a holistic approach that combines prayer, lawful conflict resolution, and addressing the root causes of insecurity to ensure a peaceful and secure society for all citizens.