By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) across Ibadan on Sunday staged an in-house protest over the continuous bloodshed and wanton killings of Christians in some parts of Nigeria.
During the protest, the CAN members matched with placards round their various church premises and vicinity asking the federal government to put a stop to the killings of innocent and defenceless and armless Christians across the country or risk the chance of actualization a reelection bid in 2019 general elections.
President of CAN, Dr. Supo Ayokunle, who worshipped at the Oritamefa Baptist Church, Ibadan yesterday to offer thanksgiving for the success of the just concluded Annual Baptist Convention, which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, led the church leaders, women groups, youth groups, children, choristers and other members of the groups numbering about 2, 000 in a protest staged within the premises of the Church.
Dr Ayokunle together with other CAN leaders and members were armed with placards having inscriptions Inscriptions such as “CAN says No to Violent Killings”, “FG, stop this wicked act”, “CAN says Not to Religious Killings”, “FG, release Leah Sharibu from Captivity”, “Enough of Bloodshed in Nigeria, CAN rejects FGN poor handling of insecurity”, “Human beings are more valuable than cattles, protect human beings”, “FG be sensitive to families that are mourning”, “No more excuses for mass murder”, and “Enough of unlawful killings in the country”, among others.”
The CAN President maintained that the present administration in the country “is at the risk of losing out, come 2019 general election if it would not guarantee the security of the citizens across the country.”
Speaking during the protest, the CAN President emphasized that Nigerians have lost fate in the security operatives in the country, and as such should be sacked and replaced with people with fresh hands, saying, “we have lost fate in the security agencies and they must sack all the security chiefs and replace them with new ones. No more bloodshed, if the bloodshed continues, this administration should forget about 2019. We cannot continue like this enough is enough.”
“We are gathered here united like Christians all over the country are gathered and united to say no. Capital no to bloodshed in Nigeria. Since 2009, bloodshed has continued, government after government, administration after administration has been promising us not to fear and go about our business that they are on top of the situation but we have seen that they are never on top of it.”
He lamented that ‘”bloodshed had continued. It used to be Boko Haram alone, now herdsmen especially the Fulani people have joined them and they have been killing people and decimating communities. Now they have concentrated on Christian communities, the Middle Belt, which is majority Christians, they have been killing and maiming and to cap it all, they have now started going into churches. In the last one week, they have murdered two priests inside their churches while they were conducting mass and killed the people who came for worship. If we are still not safe in the house of God, where else do they want us to be safe? “
Dr Ayokunle added “the Inspector General of Police is there, doing nothing, we have always been hearing of unknown gunmen, when will these unknown gunmen become known? Are they spirits? are they not human beings? What of the intelligence service of the security agencies, why are they inept, why are they inept? Instead of them going to comb bushes to recover all these guns from the murderous herdsmen, they are going about houses and telling people who are licensed to own guns to submit them. What type of security approach is that? It is questionable and complicity.”
Speaking further, the CAN President urged Nigerians to use their vote to say no to a government that cannot protect the citizens, “it is time to use our vote to say no to a government that cannot protect the citizens. My advice for the citizens is for them to be up and doing and to be circumspect, they should go and get their voters card and they should be ready to vote out a government that cannot protect them.
“With the protest, what we are saying is that, if they do not address this matter, they should forget about 2019. Whether the President is going to recontest or not is not my problem, my problem is that he cannot continue to be there while bloodshed continues, while herdsmen continue to decimate communities and none of them is being brought to book. Or how many of them have you heard is being brought to book? If these continue, he should forget about leading this nation any further.”