Buhari’s silence, an endorsement of Kaduna killings, says CAN

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The Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned the killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna, describing it as ethnic and religious cleansing by “Islamic fundamentalists disguising as Fulani herdsmen.”

Though it commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his relentless war against Boko Haram since assumption of office, CAN, however, said it was pained by the President’s  “silence over the ongoing genocide in Kaduna in the last few weeks.”

President Buhari
President Buhari

The General Secretary of CAN, Dr. Musa Asake, said Buhari’s silence over the ongoing genocide in the last few weeks “speaks volume over perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts.”

He said, “In view of the present predicament, the President of CAN has directed that Sunday, January 8, 2017 should be declared a national day of mourning by Christians including those in the Diaspora.

“We are to pray fervently for our Southern Kaduna brothers and sisters who are victims of these wanton killings and also for the peace of our dear country, Nigeria. Therefore, all Christians are to dress in mourning attire of black dresses in all our church services on January 8, 2017. We are to pray that God who delivered the Jews from Haman should deliver Christians from the Hamans in Nigeria. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.”

CAN also called on all Christians in Nigeria and in the world to speak against the “ethnic and religious cleansing to wake up the Nigerian security agencies from their deliberate slumber to carry out their responsibilities.”

Asake said, “Though the church in Nigeria since 2009 has been subjected to a systematic genocide and persecution through the instrumentality of the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, leading to the killing of thousands of Christians and destruction of hundreds of churches, and over 50,000 houses, the current unprecedented onslaught against Christians in Southern Kaduna by the Islamic fundamentalists disguising as Fulani herdsmen under the watch of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, and President Muhammadu Buhari has reached an alarming stage.

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“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against Boko Haram fundamentalists since his assumption of office, his silence over the ongoing genocide in the last few weeks speaks volume over the perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts.

“The recent defence of the President’s silence that he (the President) has received briefing from the governor of Kaduna State over the matter is unacceptable, because the Presidency knows that the people of the affected areas had already protested against the governor’s unacceptable and biased handling of the continuous killings.

“Common sense tells anyone that at that instance, the President has to be more direct in wading  in because lives are involved. The continuous killings have shown that the Governor of Kaduna State lacks the will power to arrest the situation and bring it under effective control.”

While calling on Buhari to balance appointments in the security institutions to give both Muslims and Christians equal representation, he said such would build confidence in the minds of Christians who were being unfairly treated by security agents managing the crisis.

Asake said, “We know that Southern Kaduna has been under 24-hour curfew daily as directed by the governor; yet the enemies of the people are still prowling, going from house to house killing defenceless people without government protection.

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“The security operatives in the area appear to be turning a blind eye to the killings. They only rush to trouble spots after the perpetrators of the evil act had performed their enterprise of killings and destruction of houses and farmlands.

“CAN has previously drawn attention to the imbalance in the appointments made in our security institutions, hence we re-emphasise that the leadership and management of security institutions both at the national and state levels be reviewed to ensure a balance of Muslim and Christian representation. Such balance, will build trust and confidence among all citizens of Nigeria in the security empowered to protect our nation.

“We implore the state and federal governments to increase their efforts in putting an end to these killings and as well ensure that those behind the killings are brought to book under the laws of our land and those affected are compensated.”

Meanwhile, the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere on Sunday, condemned the continuous silence of the Federal Government on the killings in Southern Kaduna by Fulani herdsmen.

The organisation also condemned the defence by the Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, that President Buhari had been quiet on the killings because he could not speak on every issue.

Afenifere also demanded an inquiry into the killings “to identify the remote and immediate causes of the killings and identify the perpetrators of the wanton killings.”

A statement issued by the leader of Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, said a state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna because of the alleged report that quoted El-Rufai as saying looking out for the killers to compensate them because they were of the same ethnic stock with him.

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He said, “A state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna as the governor by that claim can no longer be trusted to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of all citizens.

“We are further embarrassed by the statement credited to the spokesman for the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, that our leader can’t speak on every issue. How can the killings of citizens in hundreds be every issue? Has our President not sent messages to other countries where tragedies of lesser proportion occurred ?

“When Mr. President was to visit Bauchi a few days ago and couldn’t make the trip because of bad weather, did he not speak directly to the people in Hausa Language? The disappointment the people of Bauchi experienced over the cancellation of a visit cannot be compared in any way to the sorrows, pains and anguish of the people of Southern Kaduna.”

In order to be true to his pledge that he belongs to everyone in the country, Afenifere implored Buhari to send comforting words to the people of Southern Kaduna on the mindless horrors that had been visited on them.

The group also urged the President to set up an inquiry into the killings to identify the remote and immediate causes of the killings and identify the perpetrators.

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