* Blame traditional rulers, political leaders, FG for not doing enough
* Muslim leaders condemn attacks
By Innocent Senyo
April 30, 2012
Kaduna (WorldStage Newsonline)–
Christians in the 19 Northern states and Abuja under the aegis of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Monday declared that they can no longer sit and watch while they are being slaughtered.
Reacting to Sunday killings of Christians at worship centres at the Bayero University Kano (BUK) and Gombe State University, Gombe by yet to be identified gunmen, the Northern CAN said it was a clear case that the various killings were targeted at Christians. The Northern CAN also blamed the Federal Government for not doing enough to halt the carnage, noting that the government were fond of saying it was on top of the situation.
“So we Christians in this country,particularly the Christians in Northern Nigeria are taking the blame to the traditional rulers in the North, the political leaders of the North, the federal government because the federal government has not done anything, telling us that it is on top of the situation with ordinary words of the mouth is unacceptable to us. Something must be done practically for us to see that they are serious to putting an end to this madness,” said CAN.
The Northern CAN stated this, just as the umbrella body of Muslims in the North, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam,JNI,condemned the coordinated attack on media houses in Abuja and Kaduna as well as last Sunday attack on unarmed Christians at the Bayero University Kano, Yola in Adamawa state and Gombe State University which left several persons dead.
The JNI said the various attacks calls for sober reflection, adding that human lives were sacred and that it must be treated as such. The Muslim group in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Umar Ahmed Zaria, urged Nigerians to be security conscious as according to him, security matters should not be left in the hands of government alone. They also called on the Federal Government not to treat the issue of security with levity.
Said the JNI,“We therefore commiserate with the families of the bereaved and wish their loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss. “The JNI uses this medium to call on all Nigerians to be security conscious as security is the business of all. Moreso, we call on the Federal Government not to handle with levity issue of security upheaval the nation is passing through. It is now apparent that there is serious disconnect between security personnel and the citizenry on leading information, hence the need to breach the gap so that trust and confidence will be restored.”
But stressing that they would not fold their arms and watch what they described as “madness”, the Northern CAN argued that there was need for its members to defend themselves in the current situation.
Northern CAN Chairman, Catholic Archbishop Peter Jatau who spoke to newsmen through the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Association in Kaduna on Monday said that Christians were sad and disappointed on the entire system called Nigeria. Jatau, while condemning the killings noted that Christians would no longer sit down and fold their arms “this madness any more.” “We want to let the world know that nobody has the monopoly of violence, and it is only the Holy Bible and the holy spirit that is restraining us, but for how long?.
“If some people are tired of being in our country, the best way for us is to sit on a roundtable and decide to split, not to kill,” he said. The CAN boss added, “We are feeling serious pains and disappointment on the entire system called Nigeria. This carnage is highly condemnable in the strongest terms, because these are innocent students who were sent to school by their parents to acquire education. They went to a place of worship to adore and pray to their God only for some people to come and snuff lives out of them.
“We are not only condemning it, we will not sit down and fold our arms to accept this madness any more. The systematic approach of these murderers lends to the real fact that it is only Christians that are the major targets. They do it on Sundays other Holy days of Christains and attack only places of worship owned by Christians. We have mosque scattered all over BUK, and Gombe, nobody has heard any attack on them.
“They said it is the issue of poverty, but they have not attacked any government infrastructure of note. If it is the issue of power, then they should go and fight government; why is it that it is Christians that they are fighting? The truth about this is that they have carefully put a plan in place to eliminate Christians – total annihilation of Christianity from the North; that is their target.
“And it seems that the government of this country led by Goodluck Jonathan is helplessly looking on; always telling us that security is on top of the situation. “We want to use this medium to tell the world that if has not stepped up to arrest and to bring to book the people who carried out this heinous crime; who are behind these things, the country is at the verge of collapse. Nobody has ever survived two wars. We have survived a civil war. No country has survived a religious war.
“And let it be made known that Christians are not taught retaliate, but Christians have been given the right to defend themselves, and we will do it with all manner of defence at our disposal. These wanton killings has justified what our National leader, has said – that as God ordained command, we have moral and spiritual right to stay alive by defending ourselves.
“We cannot produce legitimate children, God given children, beautiful children, sent to school, then people who have no value for life will continue to kill them. Christians cannot fold their arms anymore, and we are telling President Goodluck Jonathan if he has not done anything to put an end to this madness, then he should know that there is trouble in his hand.
“We are also calling on the Emirs, traditional rulers and the political juggernauts of the North that they are behind these things, and they must bring the perpetrators to book because we cannot run a country like this.”