…Urges FG to caution him.
…Says, “Similar strategy in compensating herdsmen escalated bandits’ activities years back.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has kicked against plans by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to invite foreign mercenaries should federal government failed to combat bandits and end terrorism, saying, “It’s counterproductive.”
CAN said that a similar strategy employed by El-Rufai years back, when he claimed to have ‘compensated some herdsmen,’ led to the escalation of the security situation, particularly in Kaduna State, urging federal government to call him to order now.
This expression of fears was contained in a statement issued weekend in Kaduna and signed by the state chapter of the association’s chairman, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, titled: ‘What Mercenaries is Governor El-Rufai Inviting?’
“The attention of CAN Kaduna State has been drawn to newspaper stories making rounds that, Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai threatens to deploy foreign mercenaries should the federal government fails to combat bandits and end terrorism.
“While CAN agrees that terrorists have had a field day, CAN reckons that, if any other Nigerian had made or muted such an idea in public space, such would have been accused or arrested by the government for undermining the security agencies and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,” it stated.
Accordingly, CAN expressed doubts, if any section of the Nigerian Constitution allowed any officeholder, apart from the C in C, to invite a foreign combatant into the country.
“Moreover, it was a similar strategy that El-Rufai employed years back when he claimed to have compensated some herdsmen, which led to the escalation of the security situation, particularly in Kaduna State,” he noted.
The statement added that, “For CAN, the approach to give gunmen money so that they would stop attacking the populace has backfired, and Kaduna State is paying dearly for such a miscalculation at present.
“The federal government should, therefore, call El-Rufai to order before his excesses lead Nigeria to a bigger problem, especially since the general elections are around the corner,” it further stated.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, however, acknowledge that what Nigeria needs currently is a sincerity of purpose from all stakeholders and the citizenry towards finding lasting solutions, not subjective statements that could further heighten the presence of bandits in Nigeria, adding that, “CAN will continue to pray and urge citizens to be on the watch against any erroneous direction that could do this country no good but harm.”