The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter and Christians in Osun State, yesterday, staged peaceful protest through prayers against killings of a student, Miss Deborah Samuel and the attacks on a Catholic Church where Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah is in charge.
Fielding questions from reporters shortly after the prayer session, Vice Chairman, Kaduna State chapter of CAN, Rev. Father Chris Annger, blamed politicians and religious extremists for the attacks.
“A situation where individuals will take laws into their hands to waste life that’s given by God previously is what the Kaduna State chapter of the CAN is gathered here to say it’s not acceptable; it’s not right and should be condemned by every right thinking Nigerians on the face of the earth. That is why we are here”.
Commenting on the attack on a Catholic Church in Sokoto and the safety of Kukah, Annger said, “When we learnt that a Catholic Church is attacked in Sokoto, it’s very clear that that attack was on Bishop Matthew Kukah because he’s the one who’s like a voice to the voiceless in this country.
“He’s speaking truth to power every day. So, that attack was directly or indirectly on him. So, people coming out to condemn him or his speech and things like that, probably, you will know that it’s something that has been conceived.
“It’s just giving birth on account of this incident otherwise it is something that people have within themselves about Kukah because of the way and the manner he has been approaching issues in the country.
“So, the attack on the church was to a large extent, an attack on Kukah. We are calling on the Nigeria government to charge those in charge of carrying guns or agencies responsible for taking care of us, to be up and doing and protect the life of Kukah and every believer as well as every Nigerian to be protected from this menace. It’s unacceptable”.
On the alleged another blasphemy in Bauchi, Annger said, “It is serious but it’s one of the things when a government that’s not upright in its position to securing the state. These are the things that come up. In the first place, it like a religious crisis after…after that we have issue of Boko Haram and after that we have issues of banditry which we are presently struggling with. In every state there is no safety on our roads, everywhere.
“To travel from Kaduna to Abuja or any part of the country, is a challenging thing. Now, we have issue of killing in the name of blasphemy. We don’t know whether it’s another strategy to eliminate believers in Christ because it’s worrisome.
“More worrisome because of the fact that people who ordinarily that would have commented on issues like these are silence. The government is not talking or doing enough to curtail this menace. It’s quite challenging. So, we don’t know if it’s another strategy.
“But I want to believe that in the same way that other strategies failed, this one will fail because nobody has the right to take life in the name of anything. We have a law to be followed by every individual who’s part of this nation and that has to be respected.
“We used to live harmoniously in the past but politics has set in. So, sometimes politics can take issues to some levels. We have politicians that can use anything for their gains and we have religious extremists that they want to, in the name of their God, they want to kill. Sometimes, I began to wonder.
“I have a God that I have faith and confidence in that I feel He protects me. He leads me and direct me, and I know that I am limited. I cannot protect Him and fight for Him but we have people that are proud to say that they are fighting for their God.
“You have killed somebody in the name of God but when arrested people are protesting so that you can be release. They don’t want you to be killed in the name of the same God that you kill for. What an irony. So, politics can set in and religious extremists too can bring in crisis”.
Annger explained, “We are people of God to thank God for life and to thank God for what has recently happened in Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, who was gruesomely killed by Islamic extremist on account of blasphemy.
“So, we are here to first pray for survival of those who are alive and also let the world know that it’s not the best way to go by killing because we are living in a country where there are rules as constitution. I think as a patriotic Nigerians, we have what is guiding us that has to be respected.”
Similarly, members of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Osun State, held a peaceful protest at the secretariat of the association, demanding that those involved in the recent killing of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto State be punished according to the law.
Addressing the protesters, Osun CAN Chairman, Bishop Amos Ogunrinde, declared that the killing of late Deborah was barbaric and ungodly.
He said, “We want to declare that the killing of Deborah Samuel is ungodly, is an oppression on the people of other faiths, and we want to demand justice for the gruesome killing.
“We have come together today enmass to represent the Christian community in the state of Osun to express our feeling. We felt that the killing of Deborah is a great injustice to humanity, not only to Christians alone, but to humanity, because life is sacred.
“We want the perpetrators of this evil to be brought to book, to be brought to justice. Let them be tried, let them be prosecuted and the law should take its course, so, that this act of barbarism will stop in Nigeria.”
Similarly, members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Osun Province 10 in Osogbo, had staged a peaceful protest against the killing of Deborah in Sokoto, calling for an end to any form of brutality under the guise of religion.
During the protest, members of the church held placards with different inscriptions such as ‘No killings in the name of God,’ ‘Let’s live together in peace,’ ‘God is watching,’ and ‘Let’s be our brothers’ keeper,’ among others.
Speaking with newsmen during the protest which was held at the Liberation Cathedral, the Province 10 Headquarters, Osogbo, the Pastor-in-charge of the province, Felix Afe-Johnson, said the protest was held in compliance with the directive of the RCCG leadership.
He further said, “They (RCCG leadership) asked us to just do peaceful protest to let everybody know that we don’t support the murdering of that young girl in Sokoto State.
“And we are not in support of bloodshed and all manner of vices going on in the country. We will prevent reoccurrence, when everyone keeps to his or her religion. We should not dabble into Islam and the Muslims should not dabble into Christianity since we are all pursuing same goal and ensure that there is peace.”
N1.8bn Discovery: Recall Buratai For Investigation, PDP Tasks Buhari
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to recall the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), to face investigations over an alleged connection with the N1.8billion recovered in a property in Abuja.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) recently recovered N1.8billion worth of property owned by a military contractor in Abuja.
The opposition party, in a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, yesterday, demanded the recall and investigation of Buratai.
PDP said its demand was predicated on the alleged missing $1billion meant to purchase arms to fight terrorism.
It added that corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC-led administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens, and loss of many of our gallant fighters.
The statement partly read, “It is therefore of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8billion in various currencies, expensive cars, and jewellery secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.
“There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted. This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicise the matter and sweep it under the carpet.
“Nigerians will recall that our Party has on several occasions alerted that the looting of our treasury is officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.
“It would also be recalled that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general election.”
According to the PDP, the APC test runs their 2023 rigging plot in the Ekiti State governorship election with massive use of money to prosecute a vote-buying scheme.
The opposition party insisted that the reports of alleged massive looting under Buhari’s watch further confirm the APC administration as a haven for treasury looters.
“Moreover, the recently exposed looting of N80billion by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at the very high level of the APC administration,” it added.
The PDP maintained that Buratai should return to the country and be made to face investigation.
According to the party, this is important because any allegation bordering on the looting of funds meant for the fight against terrorism is of grave national concern and consequence.
PDP requested that Buratai be thoroughly investigated and if found wanting must be made to face the full weight of the law.
King Jaja, Alapu-In-Council Receive Rivers PDP Guber Candidate In Opobo …Say Fubara’s Emergence Represents Riverine Communities’ Yearnings
The Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, alongside the Alapu-In-Council, last Saturday, received the Rivers State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general election, Sir Siminialayi Fubara in Opobo, the headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State.
While receiving the candidate, King Jaja said Fubara’s emergence represents the long yearnings of the riverine communities to produce the governor of the state since creation, and prayed that God perfects his victory at the elections.
The Amanyanabo noted that the kingdom would not take the opportunity of his emergence for granted as he expressed the undying gratitude of his kingdom to Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who supported the emergence of their son as the candidate of the ruling party.
He urged his people to leave no stone unturned in supporting Fubara to victory in 2023.
Speaking earlier, the PDP flag bearer, Sir Siminialayi Fubara,had told the Amanyanabo and the Council of Chiefs that his visit was to intimate them of his emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the 2023 elections, and to seek their blessings as their son.
He said he considered it proper to do this before party campaigns commence, especially in seeking their prayers and blessings.
Fubara noted that his victory at the primary was not by his effort but grace of God at work, and enjoined the kingdom to join him in applauding Governor Nyesom Wike for supporting his emergence.
He further commended the governor for his developmental strides in Opobo and across the state.
The standard bearer visited the Amanyanabo and Alapu-In-Council along with party stalwarts and elders of Opobo/Nkoro extraction.
Insecurity: Northern Group Backs Matawalle On Self-Defence Order
A northern group, Arewa Development Forum for Peace and Justice (ADFPJ), has said the directive by the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, that residents in the state should bear arms to defend themselves was in order.
This, the group, while rising from an emergency meeting held in Kaduna, yesterday, said was because the people of the North-West part of the country had suffered so much from banditry activities over the years.
They, therefore, noted that any lawful measure taken by the state to stop the rampaging terrorists that had consistently invaded the state, was in order.
Consequently, a statement released by the Executive Chairman of the group, Alhaji Zubairu Mustafa, also urged governors from the North-West to emulate the Zamfara State’s helmsman by issuing similar directives to their citizens.
The North-West comprises Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
The group also knocked the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other elites for hastily rebuking and condemning the governor’s order, adding that they were just being economical with the truth over the spate of insecurity in Zamfara State and other parts of the country.
According to them, the insecurity has festered across the country because there was no serious strategy in place by security agencies to end the challenge.
They added that with Matawalle’s order, the insecurity in his state would cease because if citizens were armed, bandits or terrorists or other criminal elements, would rethink before striking.
The statement read in part, “The Northern Elements Group, known as AREWA Development Forum for Peace and Justice, has risen from an urgent meeting of general concern in Kaduna with the resolution to support the idea of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Mutawall, on giving permission to citizens to acquire and use weapons for protection against invading bandits in their communities.
“The group pleads with the state governors in the North-West region to set up machinery and measures for the Joint Task Force of able youths as community-based vigilante volunteers in order to complement the efforts of security operatives in the fight against criminal activities in the region like that of the Community Protection Guard (CPG) launched in Zamfara on Saturday.
“The group faulted negative reactions over the suggestion of Zamfara State Governor and bemoans at hurried comments of discouragement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and other elites who are economical with the truth of happening on the recent kidnapping, killings and attacks of the communities in North-West region and environs by suspected bandits.
“From Zurmi to Tsafe, from Bakura to Maru to Shinkafi, these bandits have continued with their deadly and dastardly attacks against innocent people because security agencies are overwhelmed with inadequate manpower, precision equipment and logistics facilities to nip the nefarious activities of these blood-thirsty terrorists, insurgents and bandits in the bud.
“In this case, Governor Matawalle is the man wearing the shoe and knows where it hurts, hence, our call on all meaning Nigerians to support his call on locals to legally acquire arms to protect and defend their communities against any form of criminal invasion.
“Therefore, we are supporting any leader that seems to have agreed and made a clear and acceptable decision within the ambit of law to bring lasting peace and security to the lives and properties of citizens.
“Nothing is more important than a leader in playing his role of saving lives and properties of his people than attending funerals or making a sympathy visit and lamentations after attacks.
“Proactive measures that include supporting military & Police operations, provision of logistics and giving communities’ rights of self-defence, are more important and best options for bringing a lasting and assured peace, cohesion and security to people in dire situations like now.”
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