‘Blasphemy’: Killing in the name of religion can lead to war, CAN warns

'Blasphemy': Killing in the name of religion can lead to war, CAN warns
Ayokunle, CAN president

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has declared that killers of Deborah Samuel of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, following alleged blasphemy must be brought to book to prevent religious war in Nigeria.

In a statement issued by its General Secretary, Mr. Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN said treating such perpetrators of similar dastardly acts in the past had made them bold to continue to turn the country into a killing field.

Continuation of the act, it warned could lead the country into a religious war.

The statement reads in full:

“The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, condemns in strong terms the gruesome murder of a Christian, 200 Level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education,  Sokoto, Deborah Samuel by some extremist fellow students on alleged blasphemy.

“The unlawful and dastardly action of the perpetrators must not only be condemned by all right thinking people but the security operatives must fish them out, prosecute them as it is expected of them. It is the failure of the security agencies and the government to rise up to such criminalities in the past that gave birth to terrorists and bandits. And as long as the State fails to bring these beasts and criminals amidst us to book, so also the society will continue to be their killing fields.

“We acknowledge the swift reaction of His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III who not only condemned the criminal and religious intolerant action but called on the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice. It is our expectation that the State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, would ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet, as it was before.

“We also call on all teachers and preachers of religious intolerance, extremism and terrorism to repent before the wrath of God descends on them if the State failed to bring them to book. They are agents of death amidst us.

“We recall the provocative and demeaning advertisement of the Sterling Bank where the bank compared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to “Agege bread”, up till now, nobody was attacked and even the CAN leadership has accepted the apology tendered by its Chief Executive, Abubakar Suleiman. Killing for any God in the name of blasphemy is ungodly, satanic, foolish, reprehensible and totally unacceptable. This is not a Stone Age and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. Nigeria remains a non-religious State where no religion is supreme to the other.

“We acknowledge and commend the restraint of the Christian students of the College who refused to embrace self-help and reprisal attacks on those who murdered their colleague. It is our prayers that those vampires in religious garments will not push the country to a religious war.

“This is why both the government and the security agencies must stop treating them with kid gloves. Enough is enough.

“CAN commiserates with the family of Deborah and other bereaved. May God console and comfort them in Jesus Name.

“Thanks to many other Nigerians who condemned this heinous crime. It was quite an unfortunate development in 21st century Nigeria.”