by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson O. A. Ayokunle, has said until the killings, including that of southern Kaduna stopped, the best of present government and security agents cannot be said to be enough.
He also said that the reason why CAN is crying in the state and at the national level is because “they’re tired of seeing human beings being slaughtered like animals.”
Ayokunle, who disclosed this during a courtesy call on governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, in Kaduna, said that they’re also crying out against the killings because of the negative image the continuous crises is bringing to the state and Nigerian nation in the international community.
He said, “If people say that it is religious or ethnic, we do not have the right to say they are foolish or should shut up because the continuing crisis has given them rooms to say whatever they are saying, as long as the killings continue.
“So, the government is the one, who has our trust and resources to secure our communities, and we have the legitimate right to challenge the government to empirically convince us that it is doing that.
“On many occasions, when I read of ‘unknown gunmen’ and it ends there, I wonder whether it is not the duty of those governing us to make sure that the “unknown gunmen” are ‘known’ and brought to book!
“When bandits, herdsmen, Boko Haram, religious fundamentalists or even cattle rustlers strike, the people would have had the rest of mind and firm belief in the government and security agents, if they had pursued them to wherever they came from and made sure that they were brought to book.
“If such people had been brought to book before, the proportion was a far cry from the frequency of attacks and killings. The people causing trouble are not spirits; so, it should not be too difficult to apprehend them and bring them to book.
“If there were people sponsoring them, a thorough investigation should be able to fish them out and cause them to face the wrath of the law,” he stated.
The Rev. told the governor that, if they continue to watch people doing reprisal attacks without making both sides responsible for taking laws into their hands, “we would be guilty of legitimizing criminality.
“Whoever attacks first and whoever is doing reprisal are both criminals that must be made to face the wrath of the law,” he said, adding that “CAN is ready to partner with government and security agents in finding a solution to this matter.”
He therefore appealed that accusations and counter-accusations between the government and other stakeholders over the killings in Southern Kaduna be stopped, and every other provocative statement over the matter be avoided.
“No bandit, gunman or cattle rustler should be allowed to strike and disappear into the thin air any longer without being pursued to his or her base for apprehension and prosecution,” he stated, among other demands put before the governor.