In its response to the persistent killings in Nigeria by armed bandits and terror elements in the guise of herdsmen, the Christian Association of Nigeria has planned a nationwide peaceful protest for July 11.
In a news release signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant, (Media & Communications) to the President of CAN, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, the body stated that the need for such prayers had become necessary while also urging Christians to embark on a three day fast starting from July 9 to 11.
The statement calls on Nigerians both home and abroad to join in the peaceful protest against the killings on July 11. The body also condemns the forceful seizure of land by Fulani while urging government to address the spate of killings in the land.
CAN’s decision according to the statement is hinged on “willful and persistent killings of fellow citizens in general and Christians in particular nationwide and mostly in Plateau and Benue where mass burial has become the norm without any positive response from the country’s security agencies.”
It stated further that “CAN is worried, disturbed and disappointed that despite all the clarion calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-organise his security team by replacing all the security chiefs, he has consistently turned a deaf ear to such calls. From all indications, the President seems to be satisfied with their poor performance and the attendant problems that have led to avoidable loss of lives and property.”
It then called on all Christians in the country and in the diaspora to participate in the three-day prayers and fasting programme for God to end all the senseless, unwarranted, and selected killings in the country. “If the government has failed us, we are very sure that Our God will never fail.” The statement reads in part.
All National Executive Committee’s members of CAN, the Church and denominational leaders are also being invited to participate in the PEACEFUL PROTEST MARCH to both the National Assembly and the State House to impress on the government to see the need to effectively stop the unprecedented killings.
The body according to the statement has also directed its leadership at the state and local government levels to organise the same Peaceful Protest March to the Government House and the Local government headquarters respectively on 11 July.
The statement reads further, “We are to tell the government; ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We appeal to our members to be law-abiding before, during and after the protest. Meanwhile, we express our disappointment to the ungodly and unlawful counsel of the Presidency for people living under the threat of the Fulani herdsmen to give away their land or face death.
“The only time such a directive was given was during the tyrannical leadership of Ahab when he killed Naboth who refused to let go of his inherited land to the greedy, wicked and the ungodly king. Although he succeeded in killing Naboth, but the wrath of God did not spare his family despite his resourcefulness.
“We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to rise up and speak against such a position. Those who use violence to take away what belongs to others are unfit to be called humans. It is worrisome that we have a government that has come out clearly to state that people under the threat of herdsmen’s killings must surrender their lands for ranching or continue to be killed.”