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Fix Nigeria’s Insecurity or “throw in the towel”: Christian Leaders to Federal Government

President Muhammadu Buhari/Logo of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Credit: Courtesy Photo

Christian leaders in the West African nation of Nigeria have called on the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to go beyond statements and meetings and address the country’s challenge of insecurity or admit defeat and “throw in the towel.”

In a statement issued Monday, August 23, the Church leaders under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) say, “Stopping killing of the innocent by the criminals cannot be done by merely issuing press statements and holding periodical meetings with the security chiefs by the president.”

“Until the government shows the political will by arresting and bringing the culprits to book, the shedding of innocent blood will not cease,” the Christian leaders say.

They add, “We charge the Federal Government to fix the security challenges or throw in the towel.”

“The police and the military should be tasked to wake up to their responsibilities before these criminals turn the country into another Afghanistan,” the Christian leaders say in the statement signed by CAN’s Secretary General, Joseph Daramola.

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The message of faith-based leaders follows last week’s reported killing of over a dozen people in Nigeria’s Plateau State.

On August 14, armed gunmen reportedly attacked a convoy of commuter buses, killing at least 22 persons and injuring several others, Reuters reported. The victims were travelling from Bauchi to Ikare in Ondo State when they met their untimely death.

Nigeria has been grappling with insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency began targeted attacks with the aim of turning Africa's most populous nation into an Islamic State.

Members of the Islamist group have been organizing random attacks on various targets including civilians, political and religious leaders.

In their August 23 statement, CAN representatives condemn the killing of innocent citizens saying, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria condemns the killing of about 22 people in Plateau State and calls on the President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to stop paying lip service to the unending killings in the country.”

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They note that the “perceived reluctance of the government to exercise the political will to arrest and bring to justice those behind banditry and terrorism in the country was causing the increasing bloodshed of innocent citizens.”

Last week, CAN leadership in Plateau State expressed solidarity with victims of the August 14 attack and urged security agencies to act fast to nab those behind the killings.

“We wish to express deep pain over the recent attacks in Riyom, Jos North, Barakin Ladi and Bassa, leading to loss of lives and property,” CAN chairman in the State, Fr. Polycarp Lubo, said in the August 15 statement.

Fr. Lubo added, “The leadership of CAN totally condemns these attacks and pleads with security agents to ensure normalcy is restored.”

“Every human life is precious and the unlawful killing of any human being, regardless of their identity and affiliation, is unacceptable. We mourn with the families of those who lost their loved ones, as well as those who have been displaced or suffered harm of any kind,” the Catholic Priest further said.

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