By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), has viewed with serious concern the unabated attacks of armed herdsmen and bandits across the country leading to loss of lives and the destruction of unimaginable property.
A communique issued at the end of its 67th meeting held in Jos, Plateau State and signed by Rev. Stephen Panya Baba and Rev. Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jnr.,ECWA President and ECWA General Secretary, respectively, noted that the Middle-belt and Northern States particularly in Southern Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Katsina, Zamfara, Taraba and Adamawa states, the armed herdsmen and bandits continue to destroy lives, farms and properties of innocent members of these native communities with impunity.
The Council, therefore, condemned in strong terms the mindless killing of the indigenous Christians in southern Kaduna over the past few weeks which it described has assumed a genocidal magnitude and calls on the Federal Government to apprehend the perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law, and to compensate the victims in the interest of justice.
“The Council notes with grief the several attacks on Southern Kaduna Christian communities, which are the strongholds of ECWA, where over 120 persons including infants and women have been killed in the last two weeks alone, with scores injured and thousands displaced from their villages and farmlands by armed Fulani militia without any care from the Kaduna State and Federal Governments,” the meeting observed.
The meeting added, “The manifest nonchalance of both the Kaduna State and Federal Governments to the plight of our compatriots is suggestive of their loss of the innate humane sense of value for life and their seeming abdication of their primary responsibility of securing the lives and property of their citizens.”
The Council frowned at a recent statement credited to a Presidential spokesman explaining away these genocidal massacres as reprisal killings, stressing, “No responsible government would want to be perceived as holding brief for terrorists, unless it is complicit. Thus, the Council is even more worried about the callousness of the government in changing the narrative of the attacks, bending it towards blaming the victims when in actual sense it is the government that has woefully failed in its constitutional responsibility of protecting its citizens.”
In recognition of its divine mandate, the Council reminded all of the sacredness and inviolability of the right to life, stating that no person, authority or institution has the right to terminate the life another unlawfully and urged everyone to respect the sanctity of human life and end the wanton bloodletting in the land.
It advocates for a stronger collaboration between the government, the security agencies, and the entire populace to make for a more robust and rapid response for the protection of human lives and property.
The Council, therefore, urges the security agencies to improve in their response to distress calls, increase intelligence gathering and take proactive steps to nip the imminent attacks in the bud.
The Council also expressed alarm at the general state of insecurity in Nigeria wherein citizens can no longer sleep peacefully in their homes or travel on the highways for their genuine businesses without the fear of being attacked or kidnapped for ransom and even killed in many instances.
The Council frowns at the deplorable conditions of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country and appeals to the federal and state governments to improve their welfare and ensure adequate security to enable them return to their ancestral homes and their established means of livelihood in the quickest time possible.
The Council expressed worries at the failure of federal government to secure the release of the only Christian girl, Leah Sharibu (who was abducted by Boko Haram among many female students of Government Secondary School, Dapchi), Alice Loksha a Christian nurse doing humanitarian service in Borno State, Grace Lucas, Lillian Gyang, and the remaining Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram.
The Council is worried that despite several promises by the Government, the freedom of the abducted girls has not been secured and called on the federal government to do more towards the release of the girls to free their parents and loved ones from the years of trauma that they have been subjected to as their children remain in captivity.
It also observed with dismay the huge resources being committed to the supposed deradicalization and rehabilitation of the so-called repentant Boko Haram fighters by the military, while millions of their victims are still languishing in deplorable IDP camps, considered it not to be the best use of the tax payers’ and indeed a complete misplacement of priority.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council urged all citizens to obey the safety protocols for the prevention and curtailment of the spread of the virus by observing frequent washing of hands with soap under running water, cleaning of hands with alcohol-based sanitizers, the compulsory wearing of nose/mouth mask in public places, and maintaining social distance.