Worried by the spate of killings of Christians, especially in the northern part of the country, the Christian Association of Nigeria has scheduled an emergency meeting for Jos, the Plateau State capital.
The meeting, which comes up on Saturday, August 27 at the Church of Christ in Nations headquarters, is expected to discuss the killings in the North and how to respond to them. The meeting tagged ‘Unity Meeting,’ is also expected to discuss the division in the association following the decision of Christians in the North to pull out of the association.
Our correspondent gathered from a source in the CAN that Christian leaders were worried at the bickering in the Christian fold at a time Christians were being killed by Muslim fundamentalists.
Meanwhile, the Northern Nigerian Christians, a breakaway faction from CAN, has expressed regret over the killing of eight persons for alleged blasphemy in the Talata Marafa area of Zamfara State.
The spokesman for the NNC, Mr. Luka Shehu, told our correspondent in Jos on Thursday that the organisation was amazed at the rate at which Christians had become target of attacks by extremist groups and called for probe into the killing of Christians in all parts of the North.
He said the NNC could not always be deceived by attributing the attacks on touts or hoodlums and advised the Muslim community to restrain the mob or touts among them otherwise the government and security operatives must hold the them accountable for any subsequent attack on a Christian or Christian community.
Shehu called on security agencies to launch investigation into the killings of Christians in Abuja, Kaduna, Niger, Benue, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno and Plateau states in the recent past.
Shehu said, “We, the Northern Nigerian Christians, having keenly observed developments in Nigeria and the North in particular, hereby state our dissatisfaction with the government and security agencies over the non protection of lives and properties.
“While commending the prompt response of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, we call on the government and security operatives to arrest, investigate and prosecute all those remotely or otherwise associated with the attacks on Nigerians at Talata Mafara and other locations in Nigeria.
“The killing of eight Nigerians on Monday, August 21, 2016 apart from the attack on Christians in Abuja, Kaduna, Niger, Benue, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno and Plateau states in the recent past calls for probe of security officials, community leaders, religious leaders as well as politicians in whose domain the attacks on Christians were being perpetrated.
“The brazen killing of farmers in Christian dominated areas without any response by the government indicates culpability of the government against Christians. The Northern Nigerian Christians can no longer tolerate the hatred and sentiments against them as a result of religious fanaticism or fundamentalism.”
He added, “Conscious of the need for unity in Nigeria and peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims in the North, we the people of the North cannot throw caution to the winds in view of our sacrifices in the past to make Nigeria great. The people of northern Nigeria must learn to live together in peace as an anchorage to Nigeria’s great destiny or live in anarchy leading to the division of Nigeria on ethnic or religious lines.
He warned, “It should be made publicly clear, that Christians have every right to self defence in the face of provocation or imminent danger. Our compliance to biblical injunctions to love our neighbours and pray for those who hate us should not be taken for granted.”