- Methodist Church tasks FG to expedite action to end attacks
Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia, Ugo Aliogo and Esther Ehoche in Lagos
The Nasarawa State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) wednesday staged a peaceful protest in Lafia, the state capital, against the killings of Christians in some parts of Nigeria.
The protest came as the Archbishop of Methodist Church, Rev. Luke Odubanjo, condemned the spate of killings in Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa and Kogi States and other parts of the country, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action in curbing the killings.
The protesting Christians, who wore black garments, carried with them placards with inscriptions as â€˜Stop Killings of Christians Nowâ€™, â€˜StopKillings of Rev. Fathersâ€™, â€˜Enough is Enoughâ€™, â€˜Enough of Herdsmen Attackâ€™, as they chanted songs of mourning over killings of the Christians in northern part of the country.
They also condemned the plans by some Nigerian leaders to allegedly islamise Nigeria.
Addressing the protesters at the St. Williams Catholic Cathedral of the Diocese of Lafia, the state CAN Chairman, Bishop Joseph Masin, said the lives of Christians are more than 2019 ambition and cattle.
According to him, â€œWe gathered here to protest and show to the whole world that Christians are being killed in Nigeria. Christians are being targeted and killed in Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and other states because of their faith.
â€œRecently, Tiv people were pursued from their ancestral home with their properties burnt down, and many of them were killed while thousands were rendered homeless.
Masin, also lamented that â€œIn Benue State two priest were killed in a church among many other worshippers. If one may ask, does a church look like a grazing land?
â€œIn Nasarawa State, many churches have been burnt down, including the church at Apaa, and Agwatashi Pendon. The perpetrators had a field day and no one has been arrested. Why does the government seem to be religiously biased?â€
The state CAN chairman therefore called on the government to rise up to its task to ensure the security of lives and property of the citizens.
Meanwhile, Odubanjo while speaking at the opening of the 56th Synod of the Lagos Diocese of the church, urged the federal government to stand up and defend the helpless citizens who are being kidnapped in schools in Dapchi, Yobe State, and those being killed in Benue, Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau and Kogi States.
The cleric appealed to the government to ensure the release of the Dapchi School girl, Leah Sharibu, from Boko Haram captivity in order to allow the girl continue her education and fulfill her dreams.
Odubanjo further commended the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, for his administrationâ€™s effort in improving the standard of living in the area of commerce, infrastructure, emolument and religious harmony.
He explained that the administrationâ€™s drive in the tackling unemployment through a N25 billion investment; provision of trucks and van for the police to combat crime in the state is a clear indication that the administration remains committed to good leadership and economic prosperity in the state.
The clergyman stated that the church remains committed in supporting the state government in its desire to its refuse collection initiative, calling on Christians to ensure that they register with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and cast their votes with a view to electing leaders of their choice.
According to him, â€œWe thank God for sustaining our country through 2017 in spite of the economic downturn and instability in the country by our politicians. Our leaders should stand up and defend the helpless citizens that are being kidnapped in their schools in Dapchi, Yobe State, and those being killed in Benue, Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau, and Kogi States. The federal government should also ensure the release of Leah Sharibu to allow her fulfill the plan of God in her life.â€