The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has revealed that “the complex security situation in Nigeria” was on the agenda, when he was hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in London, UK .
Welby took to his Facebook page to provide highlights of their discussion.
The Nigerian Presidency had earlier circulated a statement detailing what it said both men discussed.
The update by Welby was accompanied by a photograph showing him presenting a copy of his book, “Reimagining Britain: Foundations For Hope”, to Buhari
FULL STATEMENT BY THE ARCHBISHOP:
It was an honour to meet President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in London today. We discussed the complex security situation in Nigeria and their government’s efforts to address it, and I offered support in seeking a sustainable solution to the herder-farmer conflict.
I expressed deep concern about the suffering resulting from raids on Christian communities and villages as far south as Delta State. We discussed the causes of such depredations, which have led to very many deaths and threaten an escalation of violence. I urged measures to restore confidence in the neutrality of the state, and spoke of the suffering of the poor in such tragedies.
I also raised the urgent situation of Leah Sharibu – the 14-year old Dapchi Christian school girl still held captive by Boko Haram for refusing to convert to Islam – and urged the President to do everything possible to secure her release.
I briefed President Buhari about my pastoral visit to Nigeria in 2014 following the abduction of the Chibok girls, and assured him of my continued prayers for the release of all those still in captivity. The President promised that the Government would do all in its power to secure their release.
No country or society can flourish without excellent education – so it was good to speak with the President about how education helps tackle poverty. I highlighted the vital role that churches in England play not just in educating a million children, but in providing them with values, identity and purpose.
Please join me in standing prayerfully with those suffering from the herder-farmer conflict, the Boko Haram insurgency, and all those mourning the loss of loved ones. It’s so important that we pray for the peace and progress of Nigeria – and particularly for the liberating peace of Jesus to be with all those held in captivity.