From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, expressed fears that increasing violent activities of non-state actors who are being emboldened and encouraged through ransom payment and hobnobbing by state officials could spell doom for the nation.
The association was particularly concerned about recent attempt by an Islamic leader, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, to profile military operatives with claims that soldiers were allegedly involved in most of the criminalities in northern rural communities are not Muslims.
CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, in a statement released in Abuja, said the worse case was the prolonged silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue which could mean an endorsement of Gumi’s dangerous statements.
“If what Gumi reportedly said was attributed to a Christian leader, the security operatives would have invited him or declared him wanted and the Presidency would have publicly condemned that Christian leader.
“We recalled how Apostle Johnson Suleiman, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, Prophet Isa El-Buba and of recent, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah’s statements were handled by security operatives and equally reacted to by the government. Do we truly have sacred cows in the country now?
“We are curious to know how Gumi was able to locate the whereabouts of the bandits when our security agencies are giving us the impression that they are invinsible. If the terrorists can be located, what hinders the police and the military from arresting and bringing them to book? Is anyone in government conniving with the terrorists so that this insecurity might continue?
“Now that bandits are being pampered, money being made available to them and highly respected politicians and religious leaders are speaking for them, it means criminals are being emboldened to commit their unlawful actions with impunity. Who truly offended these terrorists? What sin did the people they are attacking and kidnapping commit against them? Why should anybody be speaking in favour of the terrorists? Will pampering the terrorists not truly going to be around with us in the next 20 years as foretold by the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai?”
CAN, thus, raised the alarm that Nigeria’s unity is on trial and there may be no hope of redemption if those running the country are playing the ostrich. It restated that Nigeria belongs to Muslims, Christians and the unbelievers and any attempt to divide the country against one another by any cleric or through the overzealous divisive actions of those in government may spell doom for all.