Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has advised the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to avoid issues capable of dividing Christians.
The vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also urged CAN not allow politics to divide Christians ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Governor Okowa also admonished the religious leaders to remain prayerful for God’s intervention in the country’s affairs ahead of the forthcoming polls.
Okowa said this on Friday at a meeting with representatives of the South-South chapter of the association, led by Archbishop Israel Ege.
He said: “It is my prayer that the church will continue to lead us in prayers and we need to be a little cautious as a church.
“I am saying this because from the conversations I am beginning to hear, I want to be sure that the church will not because of politics divide itself.
“The church in itself must be very prayerful that the will of God be done in 2023. We may have our individual preferences, but we must be cautious about the unity of the church.
“Although we are traumatised as Christians, we must be careful not to, because of that trauma, take decisions that may not actually be the will of God.
“There is no doubt that we are very challenged as a nation and it appears that all hope is lost, particularly to the younger ones. But I am one person that believes that all hope is not lost.
“Whatever thing that we have seen in the last seven years, I believe that God has allowed it for a purpose. I believe that there are lessons to be learnt.
“As at today, there is so much insecurity; Most Nigerians don’t even know how huge these challenges are. With the things going on now in the education sector, it’s not what anyone will wish for. We need to be very prayerful.
“The church must stay very prayerful and it’s a time for us as a nation to unite and find peace.”
Governor Okowa also called for the dissolution of power and resources to the states for the formation of state police to effectively tackle security challenges.
He added that the Nigeria Police Force cannot address the worsening insecurity in the county alone.
He said: “My principal, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has always said it’s not possible to police this nation with the federal government police only.
“It is not because of the situation of today, but because of the peculiarities of this nation. We need to devolve power and resources to the states to ensure that they can run their own police force.”