The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared that it wants justice for the horrendous killings that were carried out on its members in recent times by religious fanatics and bigots.
In the absence of justice however, the christian body reckoned that it might be forced to asked Christians in the country to arm and defend themselves against any unjust attacks and unprovoked killings meted out on them.
CAN recounted the gruesome murders of Christians in recent times across the country even as it stated that defending against any form of attack might become paramount since the government and security agencies were not paying tangible attention to the unjust loss of lives in the Christian community.
It is believed that CAN’s reaction is following the murder of a 42-year-old Christian mother of seven children, Eunice Elisha who was cut to her untimely grave during her evangelism rounds on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
She was murdered in Kubwa, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in the early hours of the day.
In a statement released on Tuesday, in Abuja, CAN’s General Secretary, Musa Asake, said the recurring violence and murder of innocent citizens because of religious intolerance requires attention 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 prayed that God will comfort and strengthen the 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.