Religious Leaders Must Continue to Preach Peace To Their Followers In order to Reduce Crime in Nigeria—Rev. Dr. James Owoyemi

INTERVIEW

Rev. Dr. James Bayo Owoyemi is the President of the United Apostolic Church of Christian (UACC)
In this interview, he speaks on the Pastors’ Conference of the ministry which is billed to commence today, Monday 15th to Sunday 21st. March, 2021 in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Rev Owoyemi also advised Nigerian youths to see themselves as major stakeholders in the country. They should respect the purpose of God for their lives, even as he charged religious leaders to continue preaching peace in order to surmount insecurity, kidnapping and other negative vices in the country.

Sir, this is the first Pastors’ Conference you will be presiding over as the President of UACC what are your expectations?

Pastors are key players in ministry. Equipping them will go a long way to advance the work of God. We have the mandate of moving this mission forward and this starts with how well the pastors are motivated. At this conference, we wish to introduce new innovations such as seminars, workshops, and the likes. We will also make available conference materials so as to enable the participants to go over what we might have done after the conference. We will also bring in seasoned ministers as speakers at the conference. There will be time for prayers for renewal spiritual strength. God’s willing, this conference is expected to bring a remarkable positive change to the spiritual and physical lives of the participants.

What would be the church focus during the conference?

The focus primarily is to equip the Pastors for more effectiveness. We will also deliberate on how to achieve the visions we have to move the church forward. We will devote time to pray for the peace of the country among other things.

How prepared are you for the forthcoming conference?

Our preparation for the conference is at an advanced stage. We couldn’t hold this conference last year due to the eruption of Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, we have been preparing for this year’s event. So, preparation for this conference has begun since last year. While we are fully prepared humanly, we pray for God’s maximum support. Through this we can only have good results.

What message do you have for the government?

At this crucial moment, Government at all tiers should seek the face of God. There are challenges in all sectors. However, God has solution to all issues. In addition, Government should be honest in her governance if we have to move forward. Righteousness exalts a nation. Prov. 14:3.

What measures has the church put in place to curtail covid-19 during the conference?

We will pre-inform all participants to adhere to all rules put in place to curtail the spread of Covid-19. We expect all participants to come with personal nose masks & hand sanitizers. However, there will be sanitizing stands at different locations within the conference premises. At the point of entry, we have arranged for infrared thermometer to check temperature status of all participants. During the conference, recommended social distancing will have maintained.

What activities are expected to take place during the conference?

Seminars, workshops, prayers, talks, holy Communion, impartation and many more.

What are we expecting at the end of the conference?

At the conclusion of the conference, we are optimistic all participants must have experienced conspicuous positive changes in their lives. This will in no doubt, boost their ministries.

What is the church position about the state of insecurity ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping, Boko Haram insurgency and Herdsmen/ local farmers clashes in the country?

What we are experiencing in terms of security calls for serious concerns. The church believe government has to be proactive in tackling the security challenges.

To what extent are religious bodies interceding and assisting the government to curb crimes and criminality in the society?

It is our belief that religious institutions are expected to preach peace. Religious leaders, most especially Christians are talking to their followers on how to seek peace with people as this is one of the tenets of Christianity. Heb. 12:14. This is the reason most Christians don’t take laws to their hands. If leaders of other religion can do this, there will be reduction in the crime rate in our land.

What is your message to Nigerian youth?

Nigerian youths should see themselves as major stakeholders in the country. They should respect the purpose of God for their lives. By doing this, they will not see themselves as tools for political thuggery. They should be focused and believe in themselves. Most influencers in the country like Late Obafemi Awolowo and the likes were youth when they have been playing positive major roles in the country.

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