…“Church as a pivot for bringing ugly situations under control” – Gov Lalong
by Christians Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau State Government has observed that, during some of the most difficult moments in the State, the Church was resolute in ensuring that ugly situations are brought under control within the shortest time possible.
While making the assertion, the state governor, Simon Lalong, explained that, “This has been possible through the support and collaboration of Church leaders like Rev. Prof. Dachollom Datiri, who has worked tirelessly with leaders of other denominations to ensure that we restore Plateau to its true status as the Home of Peace and Tourism.
Lalong was speaking during the Retirement Service of the COCIN President, Rev. Prof. Dachollom Datiri, and the induction of the new President, Rev. Dr. Amos Musa Mohzo, at COCIN Headquarters Jos, on Sunday.
He said, as they witness this change of leadership, he reminded the Church of its very important role in the society as the “beacon of hope and righteousness,” because the people are in a critical moment in history where the entire society is in need of direction and redirection to godly virtues.
He added, thus: “Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ forewarned us that ‘at the end times, there will be tribulations of various magnitudes,’” saying, “we are today witnessing such tribulations that have manifested in different forms, including corruption, intolerance, violence, greed, pride, disregard for the Word of God and breakdown in family and social order, among others.
He observed that, “The level of cruelty and crime that we see in kidnapping, terrorism, banditry and other criminal escapades tells us that there is a lot of work to do. Without the Church rising up to redirect man to God, the entire humanity faces doom and calamity that will not only consume the body of Christ, but humanity at large.”
The governor, therefore, challenged the Church, particularly under the leadership of the new COCIN President, to carry out the work of evangelism, admonition and correction “with a greater zeal we have not witnessed before.”
He urged the Church to remain a refuge where every segments of society, including the government, run to for solutions to difficult issues. “Rather than join in lamentation and castigation, the Church can show the light and ensure that the society does not drift towards failure,” he added.
Lalong assured the new President and his leadership that his Rescue Administration will do its best in supporting the Church to carry out its responsibility without any fear or intimidation, adding that, Plateau has a rich history and tradition of Christianity that must not be shaken.
“We shall build more partnerships in various areas, which the Church has devoted a lot of resources and time to ensuring that our State makes progress. Government is very conversant with the track record of achievements of COCIN in areas of Education, Health, Empowerment and Social Interventions,” he stated.
According to him, through its various schools, the COCIN Church has produced very bright minds that have continued to impact not only in Plateau State and Nigeria, but is a source of pride to the world.
“This is in addition to raising theological manpower that is taking the Gospel of Salvation to the rest of the world. The health services offered by many COCIN facilities have impacted the health of the citizens of the State and Nigeria as well as assisted the State to build very strong manpower in this sector.
“The empowerment and social programmes of COCIN have made tremendous impact in the economy of the State, as many people are given opportunities to create jobs and come out of poverty,” the governor noted.
“These are wonderful achievements that we must work to consolidate as we work on other emerging areas that will target the youths, who are now the focus of development globally, and are looking for avenues to express their gifts and talents as well as work for the future of the society,” he said.
“We must come together to consolidate on the peace and security of our State, which is the most important ingredient for progress,” he said, and assured all citizens of the State that the administration will continue with its efforts to provide the necessary infrastructure that is vital for economic development of the State.
“We shall, by the grace of God, be commissioning some of the completed roads and other infrastructural projects in various parts of the State, and also completing others within this fiscal year. Our promise to touch all parts of the State will remain our guiding principle.
“As we enter the period of politicking and draw closer to the 2023 General Elections, we appeal to the Church to continue to play its role by praying for God to unveil and bring forth godly persons that will vie and occupy various public offices,” Governor Lalong stated.
“Accordingly, this should also be backed up by the sensitization of the citizens to be part of the political process and also participate to avoid leaving room for people of questionable characters taking over leadership.
“While we expect the Church to maintain its neutrality, it is expected that the Church will serve as the moral barometer to highlight some of the negative actions of the political class and expect to have peaceful, transparent and credible elections, which will only be possible when we come together to put the interest of our State and country above personal considerations,” Lalong stated.
He challenged the new COCIN leadership to immediately find a lasting solution to the issues that led to the suspension of the Licence of the Karl Kumm University Vom, adding that, “We cannot allow years of toil and huge resources to go down the drain because of some obstacles that are normal challenges to great ideas.”
He assured that, government would be available to give all the necessary support they need to resolve the matter and have that institution take off without further delay.