By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Seventh Day Adventist Church has lamented the continuing wanton killings in Plateau and other parts of Nigeria as well as government failure to stop the carnage and bring the perpetrators to book.
The church warned that the development was gradually resulting in loss of confidence in government.
Addressing journalists in Jos, Plateau State yesterday, President of North-East Nigerian Conference (NENC) of the Church, Pastor Emmanuel Gbazi Jugbo said: “As a church, we are deeply concerned about the inability of government at all levels to identify and bring the perpetrators of the heinous crimes, their sponsors and collaborators to justice. Thousands of human lives and tons of valuable property continue to perish in incessant attacks, while government continues to issue failed assurances of being on top of the situation.
“This scenario is capable of not only generating loss of confidence in government, but also lending credence to the recurrent allegations of government’s complicity in the mindless attacks. We call on our political leaders at all levels to take these murderous attacks seriously, intensify intelligence gathering and improve on adequately taking full advantage of the intelligence available to them.
“They should always remember the heavy responsibility on them to lead in truth, justice and righteousness, for there will come a day of reckoning on which they will give account of their stewardship before the creator.”
The Church said it was deeply saddened that the killing of innocent Nigerians and destruction of property were a daily occurrence in most parts of the Middle-Belt as well as other places in this country, adding, “one is made to wonder aloud if we are truly one nation with one destiny.”
While commiserating with victims of the killings across the nation, the Church said: “We specifically commiserate with the Catholic Church over the gruesome killing of two priests and other parishioners in Benue who were massacred during an early morning Mass.”
The Cleric posited that the prevailing situations were clear indication of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Enjoining government and security agencies, irrespective of religion, creed, or ethnicity; to arrest the masterminds and sponsors of these killings in line with the dictates of the law to serve as deterrent to others, the Church also called on citizens to rise up in one voice and denounce this vicious cycle of violence tearing the very fabric of our society apart.
It also called on the international community not to just pray and protest, but to rigorously intervene both diplomatically and politically.
“All effort should be made by government at all levels to end the cycle of violence and reprisals in the areas affected. Community and traditional leaders should put in place and revive local dispute resolution mechanisms through which an offence by a person or group is settled and appropriate punishment meted out to offenders
“We call on all religious leaders, Christian and Muslim to mind their utterances and guard against their speech.
They must be aware that they are opinion molders, and God will require the blood of innocent people killed because of their speech.
“Muslim and Christian clerics should be enjoined to desist from using derogatory language regarding other religious groups or else the relevant laws prohibiting insult to and disruption of religion should be enforced against them,” the Church admonished.