Criminality in Nigeria “gaining ground everyday” amid Divisions: Christian Entity

Logo of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Kaduna State under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are calling on citizens in the West African nation to stand together in the fight against criminality, which they say is “gaining ground every day”.

Addressing journalists in Kaduna on August 7 at the end of CAN special prayer and political security service, CAN Chairman in Kaduna State said, “Criminality is gaining ground every day in the country because Nigerians are divided.”

“This is why Nigerians should unite as an entity and fight the criminals,” Pastor John Joseph Hayab said.

The CAN chairman in Kaduna State regretted the fact that Nigerians have “paid billions of naira to terrorists as ransom for the release of their loved ones.”

“This great amount of money paid to the bandits would have helped the affected families in these hard times Nigerians have found themselves,” the official of the Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) added.


The West African nation of Nigeria “is grappling with a wave of violence by armed gangs who frequently carry out killings and kidnappings for ransom – mostly in unprotected rural communities,” BBC News reported in April.

Since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state, Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity.

Boko Haram, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The insecurity situation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers.

Addressing journalists August 7, Pastor Hayab who was speaking on behalf of CAN members also reflected on the general elections scheduled for 2023.

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“CAN has knocked out some politicians by certain indices. There are some that are knocked out by age, health challenges and other things that make them incapable to effectively carry out the affairs of a country like Nigeria,” he said.

The CAN official added, “We don’t waste time to continue crying about the presence of some certain candidates in the 2023 general elections in the country.”

“We as CAN, we are not worried with the big noise going on because we have simply made our point clear that we advised that inclusiveness should be the order of leadership,” Pastor Hayab further said, and continued, “Those who feel they don’t need that have made a decision and we have warned and told them that it is not good for Nigeria.”

He underscored the need for inclusivity in the leadership of Africa’s most populous nation, and said that a governance structure that combines a Muslim and a Christian at the Presidency serves to show the recognition of diversity and “the other”.

The Nigerian Pastor said, “Those with narrow thinking believe it is about one faith. It is not fair when the structure of leadership in the country does not recognize the other; hence it leads to failure. We have failed before and we don’t want to fail again.”


“Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians,” the chairman of CAN in Kaduna State said.

He added, “If we continue this suppression and silencing of others in the country, it means a certain group of people in certain parts of the country will not play the expected roles they are supposed to play resulting in not having the desired leadership in the country and the country ends up suffering.”

Pastor Hayab cautioned against unreasonable political decisions, saying, “The leaders should not be blinded by sentiments.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.