The President of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle on Tuesday described the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna as unacceptable.
Ayokunle said that the recent destruction of lives and property in the community has clearly shown that Nigeria: “is a nation that is at war against enemies of the state.”
He warned that people might result to self-help as alternative if the situation is not addressed by government.
The clergyman called for genuine intervention in the crisis, adding that: “Despite assurances from both the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to nip the crisis in the bud, the spiraling of these assaults have indisputably shown that these demons of murders are yet to sheathe their swords against Southern Kaduna communities and that the government appears not to be sincere in walking the talk.”
According to a statement issued by his Special Assistant (Media and Communications), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the CAN boss said: “People should not be allowed to result to self-help, but if this situation is not addressed, self-help might be the alternative because nobody would keep on watching for these nuisance to continue to be on the prowl and snuff life out of him or her.
“As the umbrella body for all Christians in Nigeria, we share in the pains of victims of terrorism being unleashed on Southern Kaduna and other communities in this nation. There is the urgent need by government and the security forces to walk their talk and combat the raging insecurity squarely across Kaduna state and other parts of the country. The government should not think that we are not appreciative of their efforts but we say without mincing words that your present best is unacceptable. It is not the best Nigerians expect. How can we be seeing and reading in the news about mass burials and be happy when we are not fighting a civil war? We deserve peace in Nigeria.
“On our own part as a religious organization, we have never ceased and will never cease from praying for you our leaders to have the courage to put an end to these evils that are giving our beloved country negative image abroad.
“The ongoing crisis in Southern Kaduna in recent weeks with the attendant destruction of lives and property has clearly shown Nigeria as a nation that is at war against enemies of the state.
“The leadership of CAN was flabbergasted when the presidency described the current bloodshed in Southern Kaduna as politically motivated coupled with banditry deployed along ethnic and religious lines. Where is the statistical evidence for that? Who are the politicians involved in this inhuman and callous act that the Federal authorities have failed to apprehend or name? Do they have the right to be doing this scot-free if it is true? While the present bloodbaths in the southern part of Kaduna state has been shown to be acts of criminality that should have attracted sanctions, the lackluster disposition of the government in stopping further massacre of Christians and decimation of their communities by terrorist herdsmen speaks volumes on how government values human lives and genuine intervention.
“Should the gunmen and terrorists be more powerful than a legitimate government? Why couldn’t the Kaduna State Government with Federal authorities go into the bush where these herdsmen are and apprehend them? Why couldn’t they mop up the ammunition with which they are doing havoc?”
Ayokunle said it is regrettable that despite assurances from Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai to bring perpetrators of the Southern Kaduna crimes to justice, the state and security agencies involved in the maintenance of law and order are yet to fulfil their pledge.
He said: “We equally observe that the government must redeem its image by addressing the constant murders and ethnic war going on in Taraba State, the constant herdsmen’s attack on people of Benue State and the senseless banditry in the Northwest of this country. If the size of our security agents is too small to effectively secure the lives of the citizens of this country, why can’t the Federal Government engage more people? We have millions of young people who are jobless and are ready to defend their nation against internal and external aggression.”