Christians will continue ‘to protest against killings’, says CAN
Protests will continue against the targeting of killing of Christians by Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen, according to Olasupo Ayokunle, President of the influential ecumenical organization, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
In an\ interview with PUNCH newspaper, Ayokunle said the church had been trying to draw the attention of the Nigerian government to the attacks in the north east and central belt of the country but that words have not had any impact.
“We have also been approaching the government on the issue of herdsmen and Boko Haram killings. We have offered our suggestions to the government and made our position known to caution people in power.”
He said that with the apparent lack of political will to control the violence, CAN asked people to defend themselves.
The Christian Association said as the state of affairs stand now, “it appears as if the insurgents, herdsmen and so on appear to be better trained than our own security agencies.” because the “killers continue to beat the intelligence of our security agencies” in their strategic attacks on predominant Christian communities which have always been “the soft targets all over Nigeria.”
The security, Ayokunle said, claims the Jihadists “are unknown gunmen. Who is supposed to know them? The security agencies have everything to fight the insurgents and arrest them. Why have they been failing? The bloodshed continues with impunity and it appears as if the security agencies in Nigeria are clueless.”
The CAN president declared, “This government should expect more protests from CAN for as long as the killings of innocent souls continue in this country.”
CAN also expressed its dissatisfaction with the negotiation that led to the release of the Dapchi school girls which left “one girl back in the hands of the supposed captors on the basis of her religion”. The Association described this as “totally unacceptable”.
“You allowed all the Muslims to be released but you could not conclude on the negotiation to release Leah Sharibu because she is a Christian. That appears like complicity on the side of the government against Christians. It is a provocative action and very tendentious. It is annoying and suspicious,” said the CAN president.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos