By Aplefe Ojong
The Federal and state governments have been called upon to formulate a deliberate policy aimed at working harmoniously with the Church, the traditional Institutions and other relevant bodies to tackle the socio-economic and political problems confronting the nation.
Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Cross River State Chapter, Pastor Lawrence Ekwok, who made this call in a chat with some media men in his office in Calabar recently, stated that if government wants to succeed, it must deliberately and consciously work out modalities to collaborate with the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, PFN and other bodies under the umbrella of CAN, traditional institutions and others to stem the tide of political violence in the country.
Pastor Ekwok who is a lecturer at the Department of Theater and Media Studies, University of Calabar, strongly asserted that the Church is in a better position to influence its members, hence government would be making a grave mistake to ignore the Church, other religious bodies and the traditional institution in matters bordering on how to tackle political violence and other social vices in our society, adding that government must learn to repose absolute confidence in the Church.
He revealed that his leadership was committed to ensuring the completion and commissioning of the state secretariat of PFN; bring into the Pentecostal Fellowship all true Pentecostal churches in the state; work to provide welfare program for pastors and to deliberately encourage pastors/ministers of God to improve themselves academically and attend workshops, conferences and symposiums, adding that the Fellowship in the state is currently facing transportation problem.
On whether or not religious leaders should get involved in politics, the Cross River State PFN Chairman said that pastors and ministers of God were equally human beings with rights and privileges like every other law-abiding citizens and that they have the right to hold political opinion, but that he was against men of God getting involved in negative politics or coming out openly to do politics.
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