• Urges govt to name members as foreign terrorists
• Blame PDP, Jonathan for insecurity, says ACN
OUTRAGED at the unrelenting killing of its members by the terror group, Boko Haram, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is set to seek redress – legally and not through retaliation.
The Christian organisation intends taking its case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a step which tallies with its position not to take retaliatory measures against Muslims.
The National President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who disclosed this urged the Federal Government to name Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist group.
Oritsejafor spoke at the opening of CAN’s National Executive Council Meeting (NEC) in Awka, Anambra State Wednesday. According to him, Boko Haram has targeted Christians in attacks aimed at wiping out Christianity in the North and Nigeria entirely.
“We in CAN are strongly considering pressing charges against the Boko Haram sect for crimes committed against Christians at the International Criminal Court and we will commence soon. We are not encouraging Christians to carry arms,” he said. But he noted that CAN had always called on Christians and the churches to defend themselves.
He said: “We call on the governors of the southern states to come together and hold a meeting to know the fate of their people who are being killed in the North and to challenge their northern counterparts.”
According to him, without the measures put in by the southern governors, there will be reprisal attacks everyday, arguing that the northern governors should put the same measures in place.
In his speech, Governor Peter Obi called on the Federal Government to stop further killings in the North, saying that Nigerians should not allow people to be slaughtered anyhow in the North.
“We all desire that we must have peace. It is time for people to speak out against evil. Whatever the enemies of Nigeria desire they will never get it,” Obi said.
According to him, there is a decent way of doing anything, just as he suggested that Nigerian leaders should sit down and find a solution to the insecurity problem in Nigeria.
The South East CAN Chairman and Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, warned that anyone who touched Oritsejafor “will see Ogbunigwe (Igbo word for locally fabricated machine gun during the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War of 1967 to 1970) in action again.”
At the recent extra-ordinary Council Meeting of the National Executive Council of CAN held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Oritsejafor had urged Christians not to resort to violence despite attacks on them.
He said: “For those that are behind Boko Haram, you come to us with AK47, bombs, charms and other dangerous weapons, but we come to you in the name of God.”
Oritsejafor, who delivered a keynote address at the meeting, noted that Islam which was known for peace could now be described as a religion of intolerance, saying, “we will not encourage our people to carry arms against anybody whatsoever the situation may be.”
His words: “I call on all of you to be consoled that it is surely blasphemous to offer to God the things that belong to Caesar, which God Himself has never demanded. Whoever is trying to exterminate Christians and Christianity from Nigeria is neither pleasing God nor his people.
“I want to assure Christians in Nigeria that Christ has always been with his people. He will never give victory to those persecuting Christians and the church.”
Meanwhile, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said that the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, that the PDP is not a security agency and should not be blamed for the insecurity in the country, is the clearest indication yet of his party’s cluelessness over the worsening state of insecurity and other ills bedevilling the country.
In a statement issued in Lagos Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party, however, expressed its happiness that “the chairman of the biggest non-performing party in Africa has finally come to terms with what the ACN and others have been saying for a long time, that the PDP lacks the wherewithal to preside over a country that is hungry for security and development like Nigeria.
“What the PDP chairman is saying, in essence, is that his party is no longer fit to rule and that Nigerians should look elsewhere if indeed they want a government that will ensure the security of their lives and property,” it said.
“Thank you, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for speaking from the heart and admitting that your party, the PDP, has finally reached the end of its tether.’’
ACN said it was inconceivable that a man of Tukur’s standing, experience in public life and international exposure would not know the powers and responsibility of a ruling party.
“The PDP sired the President Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government that controls the security agencies in the country, and the party’s chairman is not unaware of this fact. If therefore he says the party should not be blamed for the insecurity stalking the land, he definitely knows what he is saying, which is that the ‘PDP is clueless,’” it said.
The party said Nigerians should take their destiny in their own hands by using every democratic means to get the PDP out of their lives, since the ruling party had wasted all of 13 years and billions of naira since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999.
“The insecurity that has now reached a level at which daring gunmen will attack the police and the military, the very institutions the country relies upon to ensure its internal and external security, is a reflection of the deep rot in other spheres of life in Nigeria.
“To be fair, the rot did not start in 1999. But 13 years is a long enough time for a party that is worth its name to make an appreciable effort to turn things around. Sadly, the situation is worse today than it was 13 years ago. If the PDP says it should not be blamed for the country’s woes, it means it is finally ready to get the heck out of the scene to allow capable hands to take charge,’’ ACN said.
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