The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, has expressed grave concern over insecurity challenges that have continued to confront the nation in the recent time.
The group asserted that Nigeria’s security system has become dysfunctional. It said this had been exposed by the inability of the various security arms to wrestle to the ground those threatening the existence of Christians and other innocent citizens in Nigeria.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the General Secretary of the group, Musa Asake, wondered why securities agencies had not come up with an efficient and enduring system that can overwhelm the resurgence of Boko Haram, Gunmen and Fulani Herdsmen who are prowling villages, shooting and killing innocent Christians.
Asake said instead, “the IGP will always take side and make statements that are provocative to the people of the affected area.
“For example, when it happened in Southern Kaduna he said it was a communal clash and refuted the number of people killed. Recently he repeated the same statement in the Benue killings. That is an insult to the Christian community from a leader who is supposed to protect our lives and property what a shame!
“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reviewed the catalogue of horrendous and inhuman attacks on several states and mostly Benue State from 2013 – 2018. The impression has now been firmly established that the Islamists of northern Nigerian have “legalized jihad” in Nigeria.
“As if the attacks on Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Yobe, Borno, Nasarawa, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Rivers, Ogun and Oyo States are not enough, the Islamists and their agents have extended their trail of blood and destruction to Bwari in Abuja and Ilorin in Kwara State. On Christmas Day, 2017, Christian community in Bwari, Abuja was attacked; several lives were lost while business locations were burnt down. On New Year’s Day in 2018, Christians observing “watch-night” service in Ilorin were attacked and three Churches burnt. As usual, the Security Agents did not intervene until the attackers had finished their horrendous assignment.
“This pattern suggests collusion of the Security Units with the Islamists militia operating under such names as Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram, “unknown gunmen”, and “group of vandals”. On 17th January, 2017, the Nigerian Air Force “accidentally”, in broad daylight, bombed a Christian IDP Camp and killed over 200 Christian refugees in Rann, Kala-Balge Local Government in Borno State. In December 2017, an Air Force spokes person confirmed that the Nigerian Air Force sent an Alpha Jet and an EC 135 attack Helicopter to fire “warning” shots at Islamist militia attacking Christians in Numan, Adamawa state, but not to kill them! The villagers were later to report that the Jet actually bombed the Christian villages resulting in the death of over 50 people, while, the Nigerian Air Force said it merely fired warning shots at the Islamist militia attacking the villagers. This is jihad as we cannot understand fired warning shots in the narrative of this attack.”
Speaking further, the CAN scribe said the development was clear to the discerning mind that President Buhari was not running Nigeria according to the dictates of the Democratic values in the Constitution and has no respect for Human Rights, Rule of Law and Democracy.
He added, “It is unfortunate that a President that was sworn into office to uphold and defend the Constitution has flagrantly violated the Constitution and adopted Sharia ideology as operational standard.”
“Having reviewed the situation in the country, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) wishes to note that some principal entities appear responsible for the current distress in the nation.
“President Buhari was elected on a wave of unprecedented public approval in 2015. Unfortunately, within a few weeks of his election, he started creating the impression that he was in power to serve the interests of his Fulani ethnic group only. Discerning people were quick to note that contrary to his electoral promises, he actually meant to pursue core Islamist agenda. Almost every vital appointment in Security and Education went to Muslims from the North. He did not hide his disdain for the indigenous ethnic nationalities and, at every opportunity, showed preferential treatment to the Muslim North.
“Under President Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favoritism to the extent that the herdsmen treat Nigeria as a conquered territory. Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people. The bottom line is that President Buhari failed woefully to protect Nigerians. He wilfully permitted the Fulani herdsmen to operate killing people, destroying communities wholesale, destroying farmlands and turning the entire Middle Belt into “killing fields”, all the while enjoying government protection from counter attack, arrest or prosecution.
“By failing to curb the attacks of the Fulani herdsmen President Buhari has failed to uphold Section 14, Para. 2 (b) in the Constitution that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government:
“Through his partial, sectional and discriminatory appointments, particularly in Security and Education, President Buhari violated Section 14, Para. 3, which holds: ‘The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.’
“The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association is supposed to be a business group much like many other businesses and professional groups in the country. However, the MACBAN differs from any other business group in that it combines bloodshed with enterprise.
“The Fulani herdsmen are clearly associated with MACBAN and the officials of MACBAN are noted to make very inciting statements before and after the Fulani herdsmen attack vulnerable communities.
“In the recent attacks on Benue State, the President of Benue Branch of Miyetti Allah, Garus Gololo said they attacked the communities because 1,000 of their cows were stolen. Even if it was true that cows were stolen, who constituted Miyetti Allah into law enforcement agency, judge and jury to commit wholesale murder?
“These are the issues our President should focus on rather than seek to compromise our non-aligned status that serves our national interest very well. Thank you and God bless Nigeria,” Asake added.