Herdsmen Have Backing of Powerful Nigerians, CAN Chief Alleges

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.Says no litigation after proposed CAN elections

Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

A chieftain of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Testimony

Onifade, has alleged that the activities of the marauding herdsmen in

recent time leading to the death of thousands of innocent Nigerians

and the superior firearms they are alleged to be parading  has given credence to the fact that they are being sponsored by some powerful

Nigerians.

Onifade, who is a Special Assistant to the CAN  Vice President, Rev

Supo Ayokunle, said seeing many of the herdsmen carrying AK 47  and

other sophisticated riffles underscored the level of their connections

with powerful people, urging the federal government to arrest the

sponsors and bring them to justice.

On the proposed CAN election, where new set  of national leadership

would be elected, Onifade, who is also the Chaplain of Government

House, Osun State,  warned candidates against resorting to litigation

after the polls, just as he advised the electoral college to adhere

strictly to the lay down rules.

Speaking in Igede Ekiti at the weekend during a Baptist Church of

Nigeria special programme held in the town, Onifade said: “What the

Fulani herdsmen used to carry are sticks and  cutlasses, but today

they paraded AK 47, where did they get it?

“Their actions in recent time are  barbaric and wicked. I can read

political, tribal and ethnic colourations to the way they acted. I

want to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari despite being a Fulani man cannot support such madness and  he shouldn’t also keep quiet.

“But if he decided to keep quiet for too long, we in the  CAN we call

him to order because no ethnic group has monopoly of violence,” he

warned.

He added further: “How can any Fulani enters a farmland with his

cattle and destroy valuable crops? And when you complain they beat you

up or kill you. This is highest  point of barbarism that must be

stopped,” he said.

Onifade advised the leaderships of CAN to be fair to all the five

blocks that composed the association, so that the proposed national

elections can set a pace for the country’s democracy.

“We are going to do the needful because we won’t want people to start

going to court because of church positions. We should allow God to

choose for us and while doing that we should do the right thing by

being honest and be fair  to all contestants.

“Before you can be a candidate for any position, the practice has been

that your block will recommend you. We appeal that whoever not

recommended should bury his ambition to avoid confusion that can

destroy the name of CAN as a religious body,” he said.