Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) thursday donated N8 million worth of relief materials to the victims of Southern Kaduna crisis, while it also gave some conditions to be met by the government before peace could return to the affected areas.
The CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, gave the conditions while addressing journalists in Kaduna.
He stated that President Muhammadu Buhari would be perceived as a sectional president if he continues to sideline other groups that make up the country.
According to him, â€œWe came here because we realised what you people are passing through. We may not have much to give you physically, but identifying with you will tell you that you are not alone in this situation.â€
He added: â€œUntil people of Southern Kaduna have their peace, Nigeria will not have peace. It is the duty of the government to ensure that Southern Kaduna and other part of the country struggling with herdsman are brought under control.
â€œSo, peace in Southern Kaduna is a task that must be accomplished. Those troubling Southern Kaduna must be brought to book, and prosecuted. Their gun must be taken away and sources of weapons prosecuted. If government fails to prosecute them, it is not sincere. These are the conditions that government must fulfilled.â€
Ayokunle therefore encouraged them not to lose hope, and not to think of retaliation, rather they should make their cause God.
The CAN president emphasised that what could lead to peaceful co-existence was justice to all, pointing out that not the one with just talks but with action.
â€œMutual respect for people of all ethnic groups and all religions. It is when we do all these that we can do pilgrimage together.â€
When asked when CAN is going to sit with the president and discussed with him, he stated: â€œWe have seen the Vice president and if the door opens again we will see them. But you know that currently the president of the country has not has time to see CAN. To be a president of the nation, no group in the country should be sidelined otherwise he will continue to be a sectional president and that will go in history against him as a president who is not broad-minded who decided to sideline a group of people….anyway it is not necessary to see him but it will be beneficial to the nation,â€ Ayokunle noted.
He stressed: â€œTo the security agents, we thank God for what they are doing but we must let them know that if they are posted to a region and problem still occur they will be held responsible. They are not posted to mount road blocks. They must not be looking at other side when evil is going on.â€
He urged the government to rehabilitate all the properties that have been vandalised, houses, and churches burnt down, adding that, â€œit is the duty of government to placate the people, appeal to them by making sure that they do justice, not only to the people that caused the mayhem but also by rebuilding all the properties brought down.â€
Earlier, the Chief of Kagoro, Ufuwai Bonet, lamented that what was going on in Southern Kaduna was pure genocide, stressing that the agenda of the marauding herdsmen was to Islamise Nigeria.
â€œFor a long time we have police and army here, they were not doing anything and if we asked them they said they were not being given order,â€ he said.