Following a threat letter by bandits in Zamfara asking Christians to close down churches or risk their violent attacks, the Christian Association of Nigeria, on Wednesday, warned that no Christian should be killed in the State.
This is even as the apex Christian body stated that the threat against its members by the terrorists was a divisive strategy against religious leaders in the North-West towards ending terrorism in the region.
Above all, CAN urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to prosecute all suspected terrorists in the geo-political zone with a view to stopping menace; stressing that a failure to do so will leave the Association with no option, but to ask Christians in the country to embrace the principle of self-defence where necessary.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘No Christian Should Be Killed in Zamfara – CAN Warns,’ signed by the General Secretary, CAN, Barr Joseph Bade Daramola.
According to CAN, “We have asked the security agencies in the country to leave no stone unturned in their protection of all churches in Zamfara State in order to prevent the terrorists from carrying out their threats against Christians.
“The State Police Command has reportedly confirmed that a threat letter was sent to the Christians in the state asking them to stop worship and to close down churches or risk their violent attacks. We also learnt that it was the Police that even informed the state chapter of the Association about the threat.
“Now that a Federal High Court has labelled those criminals terrorists, we call on the Police , the military authorities and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge of the terrorists who have turned kidnappings into the biggest business venture in the geopolitical zone.
“The way and manner by which our security agencies have been handling those criminals is totally unacceptable, reprehensible and unprecedented. Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations and they should be treated as just.
“We have no problem with Islam or with our Muslim brothers and sisters but with the handful fanatics and their financiers who have declared war against Christianity. We appeal to all peace loving Muslims to speak against those who are painting Islam what is not.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction any Commissioner of Police or Zonal Police Commanders and the Director of State Security Services wherever kidnappers operate in the country henceforth. This will go a long way in reducing the menace as we are approaching the Yuletide season. We have never had it this bad.
“We also call on the Federal government to refund all the ransom paid for the release of those who were abducted in the last five years. We reiterate our quest for the State Police in order to reduce the security burden on the Federal government controlled Police.
“President Buhari should also direct the Police to arraign all suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists in their custody with a view to stopping those who are perpetrating the atrocities. Failure to do this will force the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ask our members to embrace the principle of self-defence wherever the security agencies appeared compromised.
“Finally, we call on all Christians and peace loving Muslims to pray against their threats and for our security agencies to be able to stop all criminality in the country. Enough is enough.”