Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), has emphasized that Nigeria is currently grappling with significant challenges and does not require additional conflicts.
Addressing the congregation during the church’s 2023 Convention themed ‘Beyond Expectations,’ Pastor Adeboye expressed that the nation is already contending with formidable battles against issues like hunger. He stressed the importance of focusing on prevailing over these existing challenges rather than inviting new conflicts, whether domestically or externally.
Reflecting on his personal experience, the 81-year-old clergyman recalled witnessing the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. He shared that having been near the war’s frontlines, he has a profound preference for peace over conflict.
“In the light of history, Nigeria remains in need of extensive prayers. Despite my relatively young age at the time, I was near the battlefront during the civil war. If I were to choose between war and peace, I would undoubtedly choose peace,” Adeboye expressed.
Adeboye went on to highlight the ongoing battles the country is fighting against kidnappers, terrorists, and killer herdsmen. He underscored that many areas within Nigeria still experience insecurity, where individuals retire to bed uncertain of their safety the following morning.
“We are already combating numerous challenges within Nigeria. Our struggles encompass tackling kidnappers and terrorists. Regrettably, there are regions where individuals who engage in farming face threats, as their crops are viewed as food for livestock. And if these animals consume the harvest and complaints arise, lives are lost,” he conveyed.
The statements by Adeboye emerged against the backdrop of the debate surrounding the potential deployment of soldiers to Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu.
Following the military’s takeover in Niger Republic on July 26, 2023, which ousted the constitutionally elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS extended an ultimatum for the restoration of Bazoum’s presidency. The regional bloc indicated the possibility of utilizing force through the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), a collective armed force consisting of the 15-member states, if the coup leaders fail to comply.
In the midst of these developments, Nigeria suspended electricity supply to Niger Republic and implemented economic sanctions, including border closures. However, the coup leaders remained defiant, and the deadline for compliance passed without action.