The Christian Association of Nigeria has called for a national protest in reaction to the recent killings in Benue State.
In a statement by Adebayo Oladeji, the special assistant on media and communication to the CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, the association said the high rate of killings in the country is slowly turning Nigeria into a state of “anomie”.
The statement said the protest will be aimed at canvassing government’s increased commitment towards the release of abducted Dapchi student, Leah Sharibu, Chibok girls as well as other innocent Nigerians held captive by the Boko Haram terror group.
At least 19 people were killed during an early morning attack at Saint Ignatius Catholic church in Benue State on Tuesday, including two priests.
Several attacks by suspected herdsmen have left hundreds of people dead in various communities within the state and beyond.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday condemned the attack, describing it as “satanic”.
According to the statement however the Christian association is asking the federal government to increase efforts towards the arrest and prosecution of herdsmen, as a measure for curtailing the problem.
“CAN urges Christians in Nigeria to hold peaceful protest on the set aside date, in the premises of their churches asking the Federal Government and the security agencies to stop the unending killings and bloodshed in the country.
“Christians are to carry placards with inscriptions meant to address issues about sustained killings, attacks and destruction of their property in Nigeria. The inscriptions on placards could read, “Enough of bloodshed in Nigeria”, “Enough of unlawful killings in the country”, “FG, Release Leah Sharibu from the bondage”, “FG, Stop Herdsmen Killings”, “CAN rejects FG’s poor handling of insecurity”, etc.
“It also dedicates same day for prayers for the freedom and liberty of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Chibok Girls and others still in captivity of the Boko Haram terrorists. We are already at a breaking point and a state of anomie is almost here. ”
According to the statement, the killings have only persisted because of what the association describes as government’s inability to effectively arrest the situation.
“CAN notes that the failure of the government to raise an effective campaign against the killings by herdsmen is the reason they have continued to kill, while there is no visible plan to pacify the aggrieved.
“The Association also calls on the heads of the security agencies to wake up to their constitutional role of protecting lives and property across the federation while preventing Nigeria from descending into chaos and a lawless country.”
The association described the killings as inimical to the progress and unity of Nigeria.
“Lastly, it reminds Christians across the federation the importance of the forth coming general election and the need for them to fully participate this time, by trooping to obtain their voters cards with which to play a role in the emergence of new set of political leaders in Nigeria during next year’s elections who could guarantee their security and safety,” the statement highlighted.