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Bandits’ threat: Nothing must happen to Christians in Zamfara – CAN tells FG

…chides security agencies
…wants criminals,kidnappers arraigned

Irked by a threat from bandits, theChristianAssociation of Nigeria (CAN) has called on security agencies to protect Christians and churches in Zamfara State before and during the Yuletide. T his is in reaction to a letter reportedly by terrorists threatening attack on churches in Zamafara, if they fail to shut down and stop worship. The state police command has confirmed the threat letter and informed the state chapter of CAN. But CAN in a statement by General Secretary Joseph Daramola, condemned “the way and manner by which our security agencies have been handling those criminals,” describing it as “totally unacceptable, reprehensible and unprecedented.

“Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations, and they should be treated as such. “We also called on the Department of State Security and the Inspector General of Police to investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.”

The statement said CAN has no problem with Islam or with Muslims, but condemned the activities of “fanatics and their financiers who have declared war against Christianity.” It expressed shock at the activities of “criminals who are killing and kidnapping with impunity in the (Zamafara and Sokoto State) area as if there was a pact between them and the security agencies.

“Now that both the leaderships of Christianity and Islam in the country are working together on how to stop their criminalities in the North West, they are now trying to introduce divisive ways by declaring war against Christians and churches in the zone, especially in Zamfara State which they are gradually turning into their strongholds. “We know that all kidnappings and other criminalities being perpetrated in the North Western part of the country are the handiwork of terrorists who either migrated from the North East or those who were released under the purported rehabilitation programme of the Federal Government.

“Now that a Federal High Court has labelled those criminals terrorists, we call on the police, the military authorities and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge of the terrorists who have turned kidnappings into the biggest business venture in the geopolitical zone.” CAN also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction any Commissioner of Police or zonal police commanders and Director of State Security Services wherever kidnappers operate in the country.

It said this will go a long way in reducing the menace, especially in this period this Yuletide. CAN also called on the Federal Government to refund all the ransom paid for the release of those who were abducted in the last five years. “We reiterate our quest for state police in order to reduce the security burden on the Federal Governmentcontrolled police. The police have been overwhelmed with the menace of insecurity in the country. “President Buhari should also direct the police to arraign all suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists in their custody, with a view to stopping those who are perpetrating the atrocities. “Failure to do this will force the Christian Association of Nigeria to ask our members to embrace the principle of self-defence wherever the security agencies appeared compromised. “Up till today, the perpetrators of the genocide in Southern Kaduna are still walking freely, despite the killings of hundreds of our members. We cannot be reduced to refugees in the country that belongs to us again,” he said.




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