Defend Yourselves Against Unjust Attacks, CAN Advises Christians | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Defend Yourselves Against Unjust Attacks, CAN Advises Christians

osinbajo, bishops, clerics
Posted: Jul 13, 2016 at 4:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…PFN Gives FG 14-Day Ultimatum Over Murder Of Preacher, Reps Demand Probe


Innocent Oweh, Jide Oyekunle and Ahmed Musa

Abuja  – The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said it may be compelled to direct the Christian community in Nigeria to arm and defend themselves against unjust attacks and unprovoked killings meted out on them.

CAN, which says it had been taking inventory of gruesome attacks and killings of Christians in the country, said the directive might become inevitable because relevant authorities within government circles which ought to take proactive measures against these trend were exhibiting lukewarm attitude in addressing the matter.

The body also described the unfolding development as tantamount to Nigeria dancing a macabre dance of death both for the nation and for its citizens.

Independent observed that the threat may not be unconnected with the recent murder of a 42-year-old Christian mother of seven children, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, who was brutally hacked to death, while going about her routine morning evangelism on Saturday, July 9, 2016.

Mrs. Elisha was murdered in Kubwa, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in the early hours of the day. Her neck was slashed and she was also reported to have been stabbed in the stomach.

Lamenting their ordeal, in a statement made available to Independent on Tuesday, in Abuja, CAN’s General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, said the recurring decimal of violence and murder of innocent citizens on the basis of religious intolerance demands specific and relevant response from all concerned stakeholders in the country.

“The unprovoked attacks on Christians and the authority’s inaction are becoming unbearable and may not be tolerated anymore.

“Inasmuch as we will continue to call on Christians to remain tolerant and law abiding, it is becoming inevitable to also call on them to buckle up and be ready to defend themselves against these incessant unprovoked and mindless attacks”, Asake said.

CAN in the statement commiserated with the families affected by these mindless orgies of death and destruction as well as with the entire Christian community in Nigeria.

It prayed that God in His mercy shall comfort and strengthen Nigerian families affected in these unwarranted murders unleashed upon the nation by religious extremists.

“The national leadership and the entire members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) received with rude shock and disbelief the report of yet another religious hatred motivated gruesome murder of a dedicated 42-year-old Christian mother of seven children, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, who on Saturday 9th July, 2016, was brutally killed while doing Christian evangelism.

“About a month ago in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, a 74-year-old Christian was murdered at Wambai market due to an altercation with a Muslim man who came to the front of her shop to perform ablution.

“Her offence was that she objected to the Islamic washing rite in front of her shop.

“Just last week a clergyman of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), Reverend Zakariya, was killed by attackers suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Obi LGA of Nasarawa State.

“They attacked him on his farm, cut off his arms and legs, then they chopped his head with a machete.

“Another fresh but sad news reaching us is that of the Fulani herdsmen militia that are back on rampage, killing 81 people in multiple attacks in Logo and Ukum local government areas of Benue State in central Nigeria.

“In recent times, there have been multiple cases of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on various Christian communities, all over the nation. In the South East and in the South South zones, there have been gruesome attacks on IPOB members and on Christian communities in the Niger Delta.

“All these are in addition to the relentless attacks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and southern Borno.

“The recurring decimal of violence and murder of Innocent Nigerian citizens on the basis of religious intolerance demands specific and relevant response from all concerned citizens in the country more so when the government in power seems to have adopted an attitude of lukewarm response to the evils being perpetrated in Nigeria in the name of religion.

“The discrimination against non-Muslims in Nigeria under the Buhari administration is assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve.

“You will agree with me that with these happenings and the lukewarm attitude by the authorities concerned toward putting an end to it, Nigeria is dancing a macabre dance of death, both for the nation and for its citizens.

“It is time to stop the beat and let common sense guide the nation out of the present quagmire. A stitch in time saves nine.

“Before the situation escalates into an unmanageable national crisis, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is calling on the authorities both at the states and federal to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice if the confidence of Christians on this government must be maintained,” Asake stated on behalf of CAN.

Meanwhile, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to unmask and bring the perpetrators of the gruesome murder of Preacher Eunice Elisha to justice.

The chairman of PFN, Kubwa Zone, Polycarp Inji, gave the ultimatum while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, warning that if the relevant authorities fail to carry out thorough investigation to ascertain the remote and immediate cause(s) of the horrendous act and to arrest and prosecute the killers within the 14 days beginning from Tuesday, the church will be left with no other option than to take the appropriate legal action and other options available to defend itself.

According to him, the Christian body in response to the killing of its member summoned an emergency meeting of pastors and members of PFN on how to prevent the recurrence of the barbaric incident.

He noted that nine resolutions were passed to be communicated to the public which are: “That the relevant authorities should take steps to stop and prevent the unrestrained influx of miscreants into Kubwa such as ‘maibola’, ‘mairuwa’ and commercial motorcyclists who all by their clandestine activities aggregately constitute security risk to lives and property especially to the Christian community.

“That the development Control Department (FCDA) should as a matter of urgency take proactive steps to demolish and remove all shanties, batchers and illegal structures where all these miscreants hibernate to carry out their nefarious activities.

“The religious body also urged the Acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to reinforce the police personnel in Kubwa and environs to carry out regular security surveillance to checkmate the activities of these criminal elements.

“All the suspected miscreants and criminals who murdered our sister, the late Deaconess Eunice Mojisola Elisha must be traced, arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others because justice must be done and must be seen done. If these kinds of acts of gruesome murder of our members continue unabated it might spiral into undesired effects and unpalatable consequences”.

He revealed that some powerful individuals in the society are bent on using, sponsoring and mobilising some miscreants against Christian activities in Kubwa. “This kind of murder has continued unabated wherein our members are slaughtered like animals by some fundamentalists who take delight in attacking our members”.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday also urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to ensure a thorough investigation into the killing of Mrs. Eunice Olawale.

Adopting a motion by Babatunde Gabriel Kolawole (APC, Ondo), the House demanded the IGP should ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous crime were brought to book and ensure more police presence in Kubwa, the satellite town  where the incident occurred.

The lawmakers also urged the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to demolish all shanties across the FCT in which miscreants were said to be hiding and from where they attack.

They also observed a minute silence for the late evangelist.

The House in considering the motion which was not debated described the gruesome murder as unfortunate