Press statements don’t end insecurity, actions do, CAN tells FG
Posted by News Express | 21 August 2021 | 4 times
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the President, Muhammadu Buhari, that prompt issuance of press statements and verbal condemnation of the activities of bandits, Boko Haram insurgents and other non-state groups won’t end insurgency.
It suggested that the government take sincere and realistic steps to tackle the rising insecurity that has threatened the corporate existence of Nigeria
CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, in a statement released in Abuja, on Friday, pointed to unending killings in Plateau State and its environs, as well as the activities of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents making life and living difficult in different parts of the North.
Daramola condemned the killing of about 22 people on the Plateau State last week and called on the President and his government to stop paying lips service to the unending killings in the country.
He said: “Stopping killing of the innocent people by the criminals cannot be done by mere issuance of press statements and holding periodical meetings with the security Chiefs by the President. Until the government shows the political will by arresting and bringing culprits to book, the shedding of innocent blood will not cease.
“While we commiserate with the bereaved of the dastardly attack on those travellers, we were alarmed by the statement of the President describing the motive behind the criminality as ‘religious persuasion.’ This is the first time that the Federal government will make this type of assertion.
“Whenever CAN cries out against the killings of its members, the government always rises up to condemn us saying that the terrorists and bandits that are killing are not targeting any religion but innocent people not minding their religious affiliations.
“The reaction of the President is, to say the least, provocative, unacceptable and unjustifiable. The government shouldn’t be seen as being on the side of one religion against another. Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious affiliations,” he said.
CAN Secretary thus made reference to a statement credited to a minister stating that the President lost his appetite as a result of the killing on the Plateau.
“Such unguarded comments and actions of the government, including the Nigeria Police appeared strange since the same people never took convincing step as this since the time criminals have been attacking predominantly Christian communities in the Middle belt zone especially in the same Plateau State.
“Once again, we repeat that the government was wrong in tagging the unlawful actions of the criminals as religious. While we are pained in our hearts for the callous killing of the innocent people in the buses, we are not impressed by the government’s comments which is divisive, religion wise.
“It’s shocking and disappointing to hear that the Police have deployed ‘surveillance helicopter’ to apprehend criminals. We wonder why the same Police did not take same measure to apprehend those terrorists tagged bandits who are holding many people captive, including several students, in different forests? This government is seriously called upon to be alive to its responsibilities.
“Till date, no one has been held for the killing of hundreds of people in Benue, Plateau States and Southern Kaduna. This is totally unacceptable, unjustifiable and unbelievable,” CAN maintained.
He called on the Federal Government to stop recycling the terrorists through de-radicalisation and re-habilitation programmes pointing to civilised nations where criminals who surrendered or arrested are prosecuted and sentenced.
CAN commended Senator Ali Ndume for being in the forefront of the campaign against de-radicalisation and re-habilitation
“As far as we are concerned, criminals who are abducting and placing heavy ransom on their victims are not bandits but terrorists, and if the government has no sympathy for them, let them stop them. Our security agencies have what it takes to stop these terrorists but they are playing ostrich,” it said.
CAN, therefore, charged the Federal government to fix the security challenges or throw in the towel, insisting that the Police and the military should wake up to their responsibilities before criminals turn the country into another Afghanistan.
“The security architecture has collapsed and the evidence is the unending killings, kidnappings and other criminalities, and we called on the Federal government to wake up to its primary responsibilities. We don’t have to remind President Buhari that it is his responsibility to protect lives and property of the people under his watch irrespective of their religious, tribal and political persuasions. This we are yet to see.
“Nigerians are still waiting for the disclosure of those who are financially supporting terrorists as promised by the Federal government,” it stated.
Source: News Express
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