The Federal Government led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should fasten its seatbelt and holistically address the security challenges in the country, the erstwhile President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, advised on Thursday.

According to him, the spate of insecurity in the country is no longer child’s play.

Ayokunle stated this during a valedictory church service that was held in his honour in Abuja.

Other dignitaries at the event included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Christian lawmakers in the National Assembly; 2023 presidential candidates, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party and Prof. Chris Imumolen of the Accord Party.

Others were leading clerics in the country and members of the diplomatic corps amongst other notable dignitaries.

According to Ayokunle, the Presidency needs to stop living in denial and support the security agencies to protect the people.

He said, “The government of the day has to fasten their seatbelt. The security situation in the country is no longer a thing of play anymore.

“In the presence of the government, the terrorists are bragging and executing their threats. To deny the obvious is to be caught napping.

“So, the presidency, especially the spokesmen, should no longer deny the obvious. There are not talking to kids.

“It has never happened in the history of this country that the highest professional security troop, the Presidential Guards Brigade, will be attacked by terrorists who have boasted that they will kidnap the President, will strike and kill 10 among those guarding him. That is not music at all.”

Imumolen said for the country to overcome its security problems, the government must begin to think outside the box.

“If we must conquer insecurity, we must tackle economic hardship, our unmanned porous borders, and we must begin to use technology, especially artificial intelligence to fight insecurity,” he said.

Also, the Governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom, in his address, said, “Don’t be intimidated by what is going on in our country Nigeria. Today, Nigeria is under siege and there is also a siege laid against the church. The truth must be told.

“I want to implore all Christians to arise, because I have discovered one thing which is that every time we, as children of God, derail, God allows the enemies to rule over us, and today we are under siege.”

The SGF Boss Mustapha challenged Christians to rise up in prayer for the nation to overcome its present challenges.

He said, “I see a glorious church arising out of the ashes of what is happening in this country.

“However, the church must return to its primary responsibility of praying for the nation, giving direction to its leaders and preparing the people for service outside the church.”

Speaking on behalf of the Christian federal lawmakers, Senator Elisha Abbo, said ahead of the 2023 elections, Nigerians, particularly Christians must work together for the unity of the country.

Abbo said, “What we need now is unity of purpose, because there has never been a time as this period when the enemy is so angry at the church and the people of God as it is now in the country, but at the end of it all, the church is marching on, and the gates of Hades shall never prevail.”

Similarly, Adewole Adebayo said, “We have problems in Nigeria, especially in the Christian community. So, we need prayers for a miracle to happen in Nigeria. The unity of the church is important, but not complete without the unity of Nigeria. In times of crisis, carnal expectations are of where the solution lies.

On his part, Peter Obi said, “Nigerians please remember your country in prayers. Also, remember those of us going for public offices in prayers to use public office for the public good.”

In his sermon during the valedictory service, former Chaplain of State House Aso Villa, Rev. Williams Okoye, stated that the most important factor responsible for the miseries in the nation was as a result of the distorted sense of values and misplaced priorities.

“We must learn to put the values of the mind and spirit before all else. Any individual or nation that places more emphasis on materialism is toying with disaster,” Okoye said.

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