The Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned in strong words, the continued silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over the incessant killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna; saying it is an endorsement of the dastardly acts by Islamic fundamentalists disguising as Fulani herdsmen.
Despite commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his revamped fight against Boko Haram over the past few months, the Christian Association said said it was pained tby the President’s continued silence regarding the brutal killings in Kaduna in the last couple of weeks.
Speaking on the development, CAN General Secretary, Dr. Musa Asake, said Buhari’s feigned ignorance of the ongoing genocide in the last few weeks “speaks volume over perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts.”
Dr. Asake said, “In view of the present predicament, the President of CAN has directed that Sunday, January 8, 2017 should be declared a national day of mourning by Christians including those in the Diaspora.”
“We are to pray fervently for our Southern Kaduna brothers and sisters who are victims of these wanton killings and also for the peace of our dear country, Nigeria. Therefore, all Christians are to dress in mourning attire of black dresses in all our church services on January 8, 2017. We are to pray that God who delivered the Jews from Haman should deliver Christians from the Hamans in Nigeria. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.”
CAN enjoined all Christians in Nigeria and beyond to raise a strong voice against the religious and ethnic killings happening all over Nigeria so as to alert the security agencies of their huge responsibility.
Dr. Asake said: “Though the church in Nigeria since 2009 has been subjected to a systematic genocide and persecution through the instrumentality of the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, leading to the killing of thousands of Christians and destruction of hundreds of churches, and over 50,000 houses, the current unprecedented onslaught against Christians in Southern Kaduna by the Islamic fundamentalists disguising as Fulani herdsmen under the watch of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, and President Muhammadu Buhari has reached an alarming stage.
“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against Boko Haram fundamentalists since, his silence over the ongoing genocide in the last few weeks speaks volume over the perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts.
The recent defence of the President’s silence that he has received briefing from the governor of Kaduna State over the matter is unacceptable, because the Presidency knows that the people of the affected areas had already protested against the governor’s unacceptable and biased handling of the continuous killings.”
Common sense tells anyone that at that instance, the President has to be more direct in wading in because lives are involved. The continuous killings have shown that the Governor of Kaduna State lacks the will power to arrest the situation and bring it under effective control.”
CAN called on President Buhari to balance up appointments in sensitive security institutions so as to give both Muslim and Christians an equal representation in security matters, stating that it would reduce unfair treatment and bias by security agents of a particular religion.
“We know that Southern Kaduna has been under 24-hour curfew daily as directed by the governor; yet the enemies of the people are still prowling, going from house to house killing defenceless people without government protection.”
“The security operatives in the area appear to be turning a blind eye to the killings. They only rush to trouble spots after the perpetrators of the evil act had performed their enterprise of killings and destruction of houses and farmlands.”
“CAN has previously drawn attention to the imbalance in the appointments made in our security institutions, hence we re-emphasise that the leadership and management of security institutions both at the national and state levels be reviewed to ensure a balance of Muslim and Christian representation. Such balance, will build trust and confidence among all citizens of Nigeria in the security empowered to protect our nation.
Also adding voice to the issue of Mr. President’s silence, the pan Yoruba socio – political organisation, Afenifere, on Sunday, also faulted the continuous silence of President Buhari on the killings.
The organisation condemned the statement attributed to the Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, that the President had turned a blind eye over the killings because he could not speak on every issue.”
In a statement released by the leader of Afenifere, Mr. Reuben Fasoranti, reads:
“A state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna as the governor by that claim can no longer be trusted to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of all citizens.
“We are further embarrassed by the statement credited to the spokesman for the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, that our leader can’t speak on every issue. How can the killings of citizens in hundreds be every issue? Has our President not sent messages to other countries where tragedies of lesser proportion occurred?”
“When Mr. President was to visit Bauchi a few days ago and couldn’t make the trip because of bad weather, did he not speak directly to the people in Hausa Language? The disappointment the people of Bauchi experienced over the cancellation of a visit cannot be compared in any way to the sorrows, pains and anguish of the people of Southern Kaduna.”
Mr. Afenifere called on President Buhari to send words of comfort to the people of Southern Kaduna over the horror that has befallen them, if he is to stay true to his pledge that he belongs to everybody.