By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON, Kaduna.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN Kaduna State chapter, has condemned in strong terms the action of the Kaduna State Government to offer money to Fulani herdsmen for a ceasefire in the southern part of the state, adding that such measure is insincere.
Rising from its Chairman in Council Meeting in Kaduna, the CAN State Chairman, Bishop George Jonathan Dodo, wanted to know whether the money offered to herdsmen is a reward for destroying lives and property, wondering why government should stoop so low as to beg the herdsmen to discontinue their actions.
Bishop George Dodo said, if it is true that the government was able to identify those responsible for the actions and even offered them money for a ceasefire, he queried what will happen after the herdsmen finished the money and run out of funds, and how much has the government given to the people who are displaced to re-enable them re-build their houses that were destroyed, and treat the injured in hospitals so that they can come back?
He said the Government has the responsibility to investigate the source of these ammunitions, who are these people, where are they from, their identities and their mission.
Bishop Dodo said CAN as a body is worried over the killings and burning of residential houses, farmlands in Southern Kaduna, pointing out that it is important for people to realize that this act of wanton destruction can easily be read to mean a religio-ethnic cleansing genocide exercise.
According to him, such act is deserving of condemnation in all ramifications and it leaves one wondering whether it is insanity that is actually at play or total lack of respect for the sacredness of human life or dignity of human life.
He called on the government at all levels to as a matter of urgency rise to the wake-up call that enough is not being done to ensure safety of lives and property in the state; while appealing to Christians in Kaduna state to rise up to the challenge and do what is necessary to help the affected people who has been at the receiving end, but also called on government to extend a helping hand to CAN.
“Is offering them money supposed to be a reward to the people for destroying lives? Or is government simply stooping so low as to beg them to discontinue their actions? What happens after they finish this money and they run short of funds? Is government going to give them money again?
“We, as a body indeed condemn this act of wanton destruction of lives and property. We understand the Government of Kaduna State through the offices of His Excellency, the Governor and his Deputy has visited some of these places to see things for themselves. We want to call on government to do all that is necessary to ensure this unhealthy development in our human relation comes to an end.
“It is important for us to realize that this act of wanton destruction can easily be read to mean a religio-ethnic cleansing genocide exercise; and I want to bring this to the knowledge of the public that this is the feelings of the people, which we are concern, worried and we wonder whether this is part of the dividend of democracy that the present government has for the electorate in this part of the state and also this part of the country.
“I want to use this opportunity not only to appeal to Christians in Kaduna state to rise up to this challenge and do what is necessary to help these people who have been at the receiving end, but also call on government to extend a helping hand to us. Something has been given by government but we still want to see more support reaching us so that on a day yet to be decided whenever we have relief materials we’ll be able to carry these materials to these affected people.
“We visited Kauru Local Government Area, precisely; Chawai land and we were able to meet some of the displaced persons who gave us a vivid account of things that happened. In their area it was reported the number of deaths amounting to 46; 9 people injured and are in hospitals; houses that were burnt stood at 67; places of worship we were told one Catholic Church was partially burnt and ECWA Church was completely razed down. It was more worrisome to us that even their farmlands where crops are yet to be harvested were set ablaze by the invading herdsmen.
“Jema’a Local Government Area where Godogodo has also been at the receiving end is another gory story. We were told even if we had come in good time, it wasn’t safe to travel down that area as there’s no guarantee of our return. We were given pictures that the forest which is the valley area between Kafanchan and Godogodo have now been taken over by the criminal elements responsible for this wanton destruction of lives and property.
“It’s our hope and prayer that those who have died because of their faith and have joined the ranks of martyrs God will grant them eternal reward,” the State CAN Chairman said.