The president and general overseer of the United Apostolic Church of Christ, Dr James Bayo Owoyemi, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Boko Haram and the bandits terrorizing the north of the country as terrorist organizations.
Owoyemi, who was in Akure, the capital of Ondo State for the Church’s annual convention, said any organization responsible for killing innocent people and displacing millions of Nigerians are terrorists, even though the federal government has not declared them as such.
The clerk said the duty of government at all levels is to protect its citizens and while some people make this work difficult, it should not fail to invoke the law to punish offenders.
He said: “According to the definition of terrorism, those who put an end to life are terrorists, even though the government has not declared them terrorists, they are terrorists.
While reacting to the removal of Nigeria from the list of religious offenders by the United States of America, Dr Owoyemi described it as a welcome development.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a statement titled: “Religious Freedom Designations,” the United States in 2020 placed Nigeria and six other countries on its special watch list of states that had committed or had tolerated serious violations of religious freedom. Nigeria was absent from the list of countries designated in the 2021 list for religious violations.
The United States has also designated al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Grand Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin and the Taliban as entities of particular concern.
While expressing his joy at Nigeria’s withdrawal from the country of religious violators, Dr Owoyemi said the country’s constitution allows for freedom of religion. His words: “We have Christians in all parts of the country. Christianity has faced persecution from the start.
The United States was right in removing Nigeria from the nation of religious intolerance.
The clerk also ruled out the possibility of turning the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) into a political party. He said, however, that the organization would pressure the government to do the right thing for its citizens. He insisted that Christian leaders would not allow the association to be politicized.
At the Church’s annual convention, Dr Owoyemi said that the United Apostolic Church of Christ, a Christian denomination of the Apostolic Order, was established in 1965 after a few men of God were inspired by the Holy -Spirit to found the Church.
He said the “Good Shepherd” convention marks his first year as president and general overseer of the Church.