Killing of Christians: Govt Must Take Action, Says CAN.
The Zonal Chairman of the Christian Association (CAN) in the North West Zone, Bishop David Bakare has accused the federal government for taking concrete steps to step the tide of violent attack on Christians in the north.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna on Wednesday, Bakare said the killing of Christians in the north in the name of religion is unacceptable, stressing that government has a duty to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
While condemning the recent killing of eight christians in Talata Mafara, Zamfara state, for alleged blasphemy, Bakare said government action must go beyond the usual rhetorics of condemnation.
“It has become necessary to make this statement in the face of the incessant unwarranted killing of Christians in Northern Nigeria .
“Northern Nigeria in recent time has become killing fields where Christians are murdered without restraints and governments at all levels are doing about it.
“This is unacceptable. This cannot be the Nigeria we long to see. These ugly incidences are getting worst by the day.
“The unfortunate thing is that, up to now, nothing has been done beyond public condemnation of these acts of brutalities. There must be actions that ought to be taken by government to convince us that they are on top of the situation” Bakare said.
Recounting some of the violent attacks on Christians in the north, Bakare said “in Kano, a Deeper Life church pastor’s wife was accused of blasphemy and killed, only for everyone to hear later that she never uttered any word of blasphemy against Islam or Mohammed.
“During Ramadan , a young man was attacked by Moslems and severely wounded in Kaduna because he was found eating during fasting.
“There is the well publicise hacking to death of a Redeemed pastor’s wife in Kubwa, Abuja, an ECWA pastor who was murdered in Nasarawa State, just last Friday, a Redeemed pastor was shot in his farm by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Kafanchan, Kaduna State.
“Few days ago in Zamfara State, a boy was accused of blasphemy and attacked. The incident led to the killing and burning of eight Christians in the state.”
He alleged further that early in the year, “the Zamfara state government pulled down several Christian places of worship including an Anglican auditorium, a Catholic building and an NYSC Secretariat chapel among others”.
He declared that, “beyond government rhetoric, nothing concrete has been done to stem the tide of attacks. These heinous crimes continue unabated. No arrest has been made, no one has been prosecuted.
“This inaction on the part of government leads one to say that governments at all levels have abdicated their responsibilities of securing lives, especially lives of Christians in Northern Nigeria.
“As it were, all we get is that government condemns the act and that is the end of it. That is not giving confidence to Christians in the north that they are safe in their domain.
“We already have the Boko Haram crisis, we can’t talk of government defence over us, now we are being attacked by fulani herds men and criminals, who, in the name of religion have no respect for life.
“You roast eight young men in their prime in the name of blasphemy that cannot be confirm, just like we had the Kano blasphemy which cannot be confirmed up to now. How long are we going to continue like this! Nigeria is a secular state for God’s sake.
“We want a stage by stage report of what government and security agencies are doing about these killings because what we have had were statements of condemnation, we have not heard whether anybody had been arrested, prosecuted and jail. We have not heard whether government is still searching for them.
“When these killings happen, government will make statements and everybody goes to sleep! It doesn’t give us assurance that anything is being done at all.
“Arrests must be made, the perpetrators must be made to face the full weight of the law so that justice will be seen to have been done. If these are done, then shall all Christians in Northern Nigeria have confidence that they are secured here.”