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CAN seeks adequate protection of Christians, churches by government

By Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna
29 February 2020   |   4:18 am
The 19 Northern States Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the safety of all Christians and churches...

Reverend Joseph Hayab. PHOTO: YouTube

The 19 Northern States Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the safety of all Christians and churches all over the nation from further killings and attacks.

According to the Northern Christian leaders, in as much as the government has confirmed the earlier pronouncement of CAN that Boko Haram and their sponsors were carrying out an agenda to exterminate the Christian population by plunging Nigeria into religions war, the Federal Government should be decisive against the insurgents with a view to returning the country to the path of peace and economic growth.

A statement signed by the Vice Chairman of Northern CAN, Reverend Joseph Hayab, said CAN was happy to hear some truths from the government.

Hayab explained that “every honest and right-thinking Nigerian and none Nigerians alike following the deadly killings in Nigeria must have recognised that Boko Haram and other killer groups have been targeting Christians for reasons only known to them”, adding that “whenever CAN cries out, the response we get from some overzealous representatives of government is that our claims are not correct.”

He added: “The worst of this denial was when our dear President had the privilege to write a column on one famous Christian magazine where his writers chose to use that platform to expose themselves as peddlers of falsehood.

“Our cry has never been to discredit anyone or the government, but the focus has been that those in power should admit the truth about what was happening to Christians in Nigeria, not as a sign of failure but an honest way to finding a workable lasting solution to the evil going on in our land.”

Hayab argued that “since the truth can only be delayed but not denied, the Federal Government should use the public admittance by the Minister of Information that Boko Haram and other killer groups in Nigeria truly are targeting Christians to stir a religious war and fashion out ways that Christians, their leaders and places of worship will be protected.”

Urging the President to further promote genuine ways out of the insurgency in Nigeria, he added that “the government at this point should also seek to engage critical stakeholders to discuss possible ways of uniting the country to defeat the common enemy, in this case, Boko Haram and the kidnappers that have made our roads and homes unsafe.”

“The government should direct its carefree spokespersons, both at federal and state levels to mind how they respond to people or groups that have legitimate complaints about the safety of their members.”

“When persons who are bereaved of a wife, a father, a child or loved ones are insulted at the time they should be consoled, the government simply becomes inhuman and abuses the privilege of office.

“CAN and its entire membership love this country because we have no other country to call ours and want the best for Nigeria, but we cannot get the best for Nigeria through denial or claiming ignorance of the pains citizens are going through.

“CAN, therefore, calls for an honest commitment to govern this nation with truth and love from leaders. We will never stop praying for and speaking truth to power until we see the Nigeria of our dream come to reality,” Hayab said.