CAN mourns slain Catholic priest, asks Buhari to ensure killers are arrested
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the killing of a Catholic priest, Rev.Fr. John Cheitnum. It also called on President Mohammadu Buhari to ensure his killers are arrested and prosecuted.
The body in a statement made available to Church Times on Thursday, July 22 described the killing as cruel and barbaric.
Father Cheitnum was found dead four days after his abduction by kidnappers.
Cheitnum was the Chairman of CAN in Jema’a local government area and the Coordinating Chairman of the body for Southern Kaduna until his demise.
He was kidnapped on July 15 along with Rev.Fr. Donatus Cleophas at the Rectory of Christ the King Parish, Yadin Garu in Lere local government area of Kaduna State. Father Cleopas escaped from the kidnappers. But Cheitnum was killed.
CAN stated, “To say the least, this is cruel, inhuman, deliberately provocative, barbaric, and condemnable. Unfortunately, we have a system that has failed to protect the lives and property of citizens and yet it will not ensure that these terrorists pay a heavy price for their evil actions. Ours is a government that lacks the political will to put these criminals where they rightly belong. Instead, they are being recycled under the pretext of a de-radicalising programme.”
The statement which was signed by Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola recalled how terrorists murdered Lawan Andimi, the chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State in 2020.
It added, “Till today, no one has been brought to justice for his gruesome murder. Instead, many Christians, including the clerics, are being abducted and killed while our security agencies look helpless. This is unprecedented anywhere in the world. We don’t know when an end will come to these wicked acts and to worsen the situation”
The Christian body stated further that “the same government that cannot protect us has failed to establish state police to complement the obviously overstretched Federal Police. This is why many well-meaning Nigerians, including some governors, are calling for self-defense to reduce the menace of insecurity challenges. “
While commiserating with the immediate family of the slain Cheitnum and the Catholic church, the Christian association prayed that “Never again will Nigeria be governed by a government that will be treating criminals with kid gloves.”