1. National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) wishes to express heartfelt condolence to the families and individuals affected in the genocide recurring in southern Kaduna amongst the Christian indigenous ethnic nationalities. The recurring decimal of violence and destruction against the Christian communities in northern Nigeria, Middle Belt, and in the other parts of the country is clarion call for Christian alert and proactive response.
2. Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) made it clear in its paper titled, BORN TO RULE TO THE GRAVEYARD that the Fulani ethnic nationality is still on jihad in Nigeria in the 21st century. The group targeted by this jihad is the non-Muslim population in Nigeria, particularly the Christians. This is confirmed by the pattern of the attacks including the deliberate violation of the Federal Character Principle in Section 14 (3) of the Constitution on Federal appointments.
3. During its meeting on 23rd July, 2020, NCEF reviewed the situation in the country and passed a resolution to revive the Christian Trust Fund which was earlier handed over to CAN in 2014 but became moribund under its care in 2018.
4. The Christian Elders concluded that unless Christians have a central purse to fund Christian advocacy and Christian interventions, the jihadists shall continually be emboldened to pursue ruthless and relentless attacks on Christians at all levels. A coordinated and well funded Christian response has become imperative in 2020, much more than the situation warranted in 2014 when the Trust Fund was introduced and handed over to CAN.
5. NCEF assures Christians and indeed all Nigerians that as Christian Elders, the object of the LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FUND is not to exacerbate violence in the land through sponsoring counter violent measures but to pursue a deliberate non-violent plan of building Christian structures to promote peace, protect Christians, and ensure balance and order in the country. Having received sufficient signals from the security units that they are incapable of defending and protecting Christian lives, it is the responsibility of Nigerian Christians to evolve measures to protect and defend themselves because self defense is legal.
6. In view of the foregoing, NCEF has called on Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN), the socio-political arm of the Church, to commence immediately the establishment of LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FUND in accordance with Article 14 (1a) of its Constitution to mobilize critical funding to defend Christians and also ensure the survival of democracy in Nigeria.
7. In recognition of the Christian umbrella Association, NCEF has notified the Heads of the five Blocs of CAN, the President of CAN, as well as the General Secretary of CAN on the need to resuscitate Christian Trust Fund in the collective interest of Christians in Nigeria. NCEF hopes that the previous mishandling of CAN Trust Fund shall not recur again in the Church.
8. NCEF is calling on all heads of Denominations, heads of ministries, fellowships, Christian groups as well as Christian individuals, to contribute and support the LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FUND in our collective interest. A Board of Trustees made up of credible, experienced, and competent Christian technocrats shall manage the funds while Audit shall be conducted regularly.
9. NCEF also wishes to assure Denominations and Churches that contribution of individual Christians shall not affect individual commitment to their local assemblies. The LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FUND shall maintain the standard of its precursor of N500 monthly contribution by Christians into the fund.
10. Finally, NCEF encourages all Christians to remain prayerful in this season of great affliction on Christianity in Nigeria. As Christians pray, they should bear in mind that works must support faith, for faith to be meaningful. A deliberate plan of action must be pursued and resources should be provided to executive it.
God bless the Nigerian Church.
Elder Solomon Asemota, SAN
28th July, 2020