Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Christian Association of Nigeria, Niger state chapter, has asked for compensation to be paid to St. Philips Catholic Church, Baki-uku in Suleja local government area of the state, for the destruction of part of the church building and its musical instruments by Muslim youths a week ago.
CAN also asked the state government to take up the salary bills of those injured in the Friday attack.
The State CAN chairman, Reverend Mathias Echioda, who made the demands in Minna at the weekend while reacting to the incident, said Christians in the state would no longer fold their hands and watch some miscreants destroy ‘our property in the name of religious fanaticism’.
“The fact that Christianity has always been known as a peace-loving and peace-promoting faith should however not be taken for weakness and thus be tempted to press us to the wall – no person or religion has monopoly of violence, and we are not fools!
“Needless to say that the devastation be adequately compensated, so that the church will immediately resume her worship services.
“Let this be a warning that Christians shall not fold their hands and watch their property being destroyed, we shall protect and defend our fundamental and constitutional rights. After all, Niger State and Nigeria belong to all of us.
“We must therefore learn to tolerate and appreciate our obvious differences. And Government should put structures in place through the Bureau for Religious Affairs to discourage messages of hatred at our places of worship and from our public domain.”
He commended the security operatives in Suleja and the traditional institution there for promptly intervening in the crisis, saying their action stopped the situation from degenerating.
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