The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has called on Christians to observe a national day of mourning for victims of the crisis in southern Kaduna State, and other parts of Nigeria.
The day of mourning, which is to be observed on January 8, 2017, will serve as a fervent day of prayer and empathy for those affected by the killings.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Secretary General of CAN, Musa Asake, blamed the “prolonged silence” of the Presidency, as well as 2the manner of approach on the issue, by the leadership of Kaduna State” for the escalation of the crisis.
“In view of the present predicament, the president of CAN has directed that Sunday, January 8, be declared a national day of mourning by all Christians, including those in the diaspora. We are to pray fervently for our southern Kaduna brothers and sisters who are victims of these wanton killings and also for the peace of our dear country, Nigeria,” Mr. Asake said.
“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against the Boko Haram fundamentalists since his assumption of office, his silence in the ongoing genocide in the last few weeks speaks volumes over the perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts. We know that southern Kaduna has been under 24 hour curfew daily as directed by the governor, yet the enemies of the people are still prowling going from house to house, killing defenceless people, without government protection. The security operatives in the area appear to be turning blind eyes to the killings.”
He condemned the explanations given by a presidential aide, Femi Adesina, on why the president has not commented on the killings.
Mr. Adesina had said that the president cannot comment on everything as the country is a federation. He said Governor Nasir El-Rufai had demonstrated capacity in handling the crisis.
“The recent defence of the president’s silence that the president has received briefing from the governor of Kaduna State over the matter is unacceptable because the presidency knows that the people of the affected area had already protested against the governor’s unacceptable biased handling of the continued killings. Common sense tells anyone that at that instance, the president has to more directly wade in because lives are involved. The continuous killings have shown that the governor of Kaduna state lacks the will power to arrest the situation and bring it under effective control,” the association said.
CAN reiterated its previous allegations that lopsided appointments in the security sector has had an adverse effect on the war against terror and called for a review of the appointments to build trust among Nigerians.
He called on Christians in Nigeria and beyond to speak against what he described as the ethno-religious cleansing to awaken the sense of responsibility in the leadership of those within the security sector.