â€¢Cautions against death sentence on Adamawa Christians
Paul Obi in Abuja
Following reports of plans by the federal government to recruit repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the Nigerian Army and the Police, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday warned the federal government against such plan.
The reports said the federal government has been brainstorming on possible ways to finally rehabilitate Boko Haram terrorists, who had been de-radicalised through the Operation Safe Corridor policy.
The Operation Safe Corridor overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) through Operation Lafiya Dole, is geared towards rehabilitating repentant Boko Haram terrorists, including empowerment and other job opportunities.
But speaking on the purported plan, the CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, said: â€œCAN is visibly disturbed about reports, saying if it is true, CAN condemns such a policy in strong terms, and asked the federal government, especially security agencies, to withdraw that directive, which it said is capable of compromising the countryâ€™s security system.â€
CAN also called on the federal government to caution the Adamawa State Government against hasty implementation of the death sentence passed on five Christian youths who were alleged to have killed a Fulani herdsman.
CAN added :â€According to reports, Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of a High Court in Adamawa State, recently sentenced Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi to death for culpable homicide.
â€˜â€™The convicts were said to have allegedly on June 1, 2017, at Kadamun village in Demsa Local Government Area â€˜willfully and intentionally conspired and attacked three herdsmen rearing cattle, killing one of them, Adamu Buba, whose body they threw into a river and also maimed several cows.
â€œWhile CAN is not supporting jungle justice or any criminality, we note with regret how hundreds of our members in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Taraba and Plateau States in the North-central geo-political zones, and a state like Enugu in the South, have been killed and are still being killed on a daily basis by some criminals parading themselves as Fulani herdsmen but none of them is yet to be apprehended.â€
The CAN president added that while citizens stood helpless at the massacre of their peaceful fellow Nigerians, the international community watched in anguish how government security agencies could not bring perpetrators of these heinous killings to book.
â€œWe recall with sadness how President Donald Trump had expressed sadness over killings of Christians in Nigeria and even told President Muhammadu Buhari, when he recently visited the White House in Washington DC, that the United States of America would no longer tolerate a situation where Christians are being killed with impunity.
â€˜â€™He also stressed that despite the outrage that had trailed the killings of Christians in Nigeria, it is disheartening that none of the killers has been brought to justice. We are shocked at the speed of light deployed by security and judicial officers in sentencing the alleged killers of the herdsman in Adamawa State,â€ CAN added.
The Christian group added, â€˜â€™Why did the court discharged the alleged killers of Madam Bridget Agbahime on the orders of the Kano State Government? Why have security officials not arrested those behind the killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, while those arrested for the murder of Mrs. Eunice Elisha Olawale in Kubwa, Abuja, have been set free by the Nigeria Police?â€™â€™
Asking President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the death sentence passed on these Christian youths in Adamawa, CAN said that it had called on its legal team to secure and study the text of the judgement with a view to preventing a miscarriage of justice and a future reoccurrence.