Paul Obi in Abuja
The youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Tuesday said its faith in the federal government and its security agencies to provide protection and security was waning, warning that it portended grave danger for Nigeria.
Speaking against the backdrop of the incessant killings of Christians in northern Nigeria as witnessed on August 21, 2016, at Talata Mafara in Zamfara State, over an alleged blasphemy by a student, the youth group said the killing had again confirmed fears over the insecurity of Christians in Nigeria.
In a statement, President of the CAN Youth Wing, Daniel Kadzai, stated that “the Constant killing of Christians either by Muslim terrorist, Fulani herdsmen or Muslim groups under slight provocation is no longer acceptable to Christian Youths and Christians in Nigeria. Our restrain despite several provocations should not be taken for granted.
“While appreciating the effort of the good Muslim who tried saving one of the victims, we call on all peace loving Muslims to protect Christians as ours is to promote love by loving our neighbours, (Mark 12:31) as well as love those who hate us (Matthew 5:44).”
Kadzai said: “Our faith in the security organisations to protect Nigerians is fast waning. We demand that the federal government directs its security operatives to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the heinous crimes of attacks against Christians.
“Also, we cannot accept the situation where the crime that followed a sequence or well orchestrated can be termed a mob action simply to cover up perpetrators.”
He observed that “it is obvious that the Federal Government or some security agencies choose to look the other side when it comes to matter of religion when the other side is the victim.
“We cannot accept where Nigeria practicing Federal democracy is operating dual constitution; the Nigerian constitution, and the Sharia Islamic code in some states concurrently. These gives room for persecution and outright killing of Christian in Nigeria.
“We believe that the rule of law and social justice cannot be obtained in a country with duality of Constitution like Nigeria. We categorically demand that no Nigerian should henceforth be persecuted for converting to Christianity or any other religion; this is in accordance to the Constitution where one has a choice of religion.
“We also demand that no Nigerian, should henceforth be persecuted, attacked or killed for blasphemy. Government must be bold otherwise the widening divide or religious lines and the persecution may have dare consequences in the future,” Kadzai stated.
The group expressed concern over government’s silence over the killings, “it is sad that while the government is publicly claiming success over terrorist, security agents could not arrest and prosecute any of those attacking Christians.
“Government must bring the perpetrators to justice and go beyond calling for a security meeting, imposing curfew, press statement and the usual compensation to family of victims.”