Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cried to the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and other developed world to assist Nigerian government in securing the lives of its citizens before insecurity situation in the country becomes too late, an indication that it has lost confidence in the ability of the Nigerian state to secure its citizens.
The umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria said the recent upsurge in attack on Nigerians, particularly Christians in the North, had become a source of concern, as the country security system seemed to have run out of ideas and abilities to contain the activities of the insurgents.
CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, in a statement released in Abuja, on Monday, by his media aide, Bayo Oladeji, appealed to the developed countries with strong military might to help Nigeria’s security agencies to live up to the expectations before the insecurity situation gotvout of hand.
The CAN President justified his fears with recent reports from some part of Nigeria, particularly the North, that Boko Haram insurgents and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters had intensify attacks, particularly on Christians and their communities.
He said: “CAN Chairman in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi, was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists some days back when they invaded the predominant Christian community. Although, we were told that troops repelled the terrorists but not until they had successfully forced Rev Andimi into their Toyota Hilux and took him away.
“The innocent cleric, in a video footage released by his captors, has been making appeal to the Federal Government, the Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Umar Fintri, and the leadership of CAN to come to his aid.”
The CAN President further lamented that, “as if that was not enough, there was a bandit attack on Kasaya village, another Christian community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Monday about 6:30 am. The attackers were said to had abducted 41 people, including a Pastor, Rev Joshua Samaila. But up till now, nobody knows what has become of them.
“Similarly, on 27th November, 2019, Mr. Bitrus Bwala, a principal lecturer at the College of Education, Gashua, Yobe State, and 10 others, who are all Christians, were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists. Bwala in a short video released recently cried out for help. But up till now, the government is yet to secured their freedom or say anything about them.
“These are all evidences of Christian persecution in the country, and when we cried out in support of the position of the US government, some people would say it was untrue. If criminals are invading Christian communities, killing and abducting people unchallenged, what do we call it if not deliberate persecution? How many terrorists, Fulani herdsmen ‘killers’ and bandits are in the custody of the security agencies? How many of them have been arraigned in court?”
CAN, thus called on the Federal Government and security agencies to expedite actions to secure immediate and safe release of all the hostages and ensure adequate security in the affected Christian communities that have become the target of criminals.
It, however, assured those in captivity and others facing religious persecution under the current dispensation that Christians are with them in prayers and God who delivered the people of Israel from the Egyptian bondage will surely deliver them unhurt.