By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
In its swift reaction to the killing of two priests and 17 worshippers of St. Ignatius Catholic church, Mbalom, Gwer East LGA of Benue State, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared Sunday, 29 April, 2018, as a National Day of Protest against unending killings in the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Special Assistant, (Media&Communications) to the CAN President, his eminence, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji.
It also dedicates same day for prayers for the freedom and liberty of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Chibok Girls and others still in captivity of the Boko Haram terrorists. We are already at a breaking point and a state of anomie is almost here. ”
CAN urges Christians in Nigeria to hold peaceful protest on the set aside date, in the premises of their churches asking the Federal Government and the security agencies to stop the unending killings and bloodshed in the country.
Christians are to carry placards with inscriptions meant to address issues about sustained killings, attacks and destruction of their property in Nigeria.
The inscriptions on placards could read, “Enough of bloodshed in Nigeria”, “Enough of unlawful killings in the country”, “FG, Release Leah Sharibu from the bondage”, “FG, Stop Herdsmen Killings”, “CAN rejects FG’s poor handling of insecurity”, etc.
“Government should be called upon to perform their constitutional responsibility of protecting citizens now. No excuse should be given for this wicked act again and perpetrators must be brought to book now.
CAN seizes this medium to appeal to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to mount different effective plans aimed towards disarming herdsmen across the northern states and in communities where they have been wreaking havoc across the country in National interest.
It notes that the failure of the government to raise an effective campaign against the killings by herdsmen is the reason they have continued to kill, while there is no visible plan to pacify the aggrieved.
The Association also calls on the heads of the security agencies to wake up to their constitutional role of protecting lives and property across the federation while preventing Nigeria from descending into chaos and a lawless country.
CAN recalls with pains, disappointments, and worries how Nigerians in the North East, Middle Belt and southern parts of Nigeria become visibly endangered with sustained attacks from Boko Haram, herders and armed bandits. It contends that such developments are not only inimical to the progress of Nigeria, they will continue to weaken the unity of the country if left unchecked
CAN urges all and sundry to continue to pray for peace and tranquillity of Nigeria and most importantly, for the parents and relations of all abducted schoolchildren.
Christians across the federation should also not forget to pray for the bereaved families of those attacked by the Boko Haram terrorists, armed herdsmen, bandits and other criminals in the past couple of months in Nigeria.
Lastly, It reminds Christians across the federation the importance of the forth coming general election and the need for them to fully participate this time, by trooping to obtain their voters cards with which to play a role in the emergence of new set of political leaders in Nigeria during next years elections who could guarantee their security and safety