The killing of two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers in Benue State on Tuesday attracted more condemnations on Wednesday with the Christian Association of Nigeria directing its members to organise protests on their church premises on Sunday.
Besides CAN, some individuals and groups accused Buhari’s administration and security agencies of not doing enough to stop the killings by herdsmen.
CAN President, Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle, in a statement on Wednesday, urged Christians to hold peaceful protests on their church premises on Sunday, April 29, 2018.
He said, “CAN urges Christians in Nigeria to hold peaceful protests on the set aside date, on the premises of their churches, asking the Federal Government and the security agencies to stop the unending killings and bloodshed in the country.
“Christians are to carry placards with inscriptions meant to address issues about killings, attacks and destruction of their property in Nigeria.
“The inscriptions on placards could read, ‘Enough of bloodshed in Nigeria,’ ‘Enough of unlawful killings in the country,’ ‘FG, Release Leah Sharibu from the bondage,’ ‘FG, Stop Herdsmen Killings,’ ‘CAN rejects FG’s poor handling of insecurity.’”
The cleric admonished the government to perform its constitutional responsibility of protecting the citizens, noting that no excuse was tenable for the bloodshed.
“CAN uses this medium to appeal to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to mount different effective plans aimed at disarming herdsmen across the country in national interest,” the statement added.
He also called on the heads of security agencies to wake up to their constitutional role of protecting lives and property.
A civil society organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria said Buhari’s administration kept watching helplessly as the herdsmen killed Nigerians.
HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement on Wednesday, said the international community must not watch Nigeria as “these crimes of epic proportions by armed Fulani herdsmen are going on.”
Jihad declared on Northern Christians – CAN Youth
The National President of Youth Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, Mr. Daniel Kadzai, on Wednesday said the killings were a declaration of Jihad as they had been occurring in the Christian-dominated communities in the North, particularly in Benue and Taraba states.
Kadzai, in an interview with journalists on Wednesday said the government was aware of the alleged perpetrators of the killings.
He said, “The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said that it is a farmer-herdsmen clash. The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said it is due to the blockage of cattle routes. President Buhari told his foreign host that it is fighters from Libya that are carrying out the genocide against Nigerian Christians.
“The questions are: if they are fighters from Libya, why is the President not declaring them terrorists? The different narrations of the security chiefs on the killings are clear testimonies that this government is shielding the jihadists,” he said.
Also, the Spiritual Father and Chairman, Cherubim & Seraphim Movement Church World Wide, (Ayo ni o), Most Rev. Samuel Abidoye, urged the President to secure lives and property in Nigeria.