The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has asked the security agencies in the country to leave no stone unturned in their protection of all churches in Zamfara State.
The request was made in order to prevent terrorists from carrying out their threats against Christians.
In a statement by its General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN stated that the state police command had reportedly confirmed that a threat letter was sent to the Christians in the state asking them to stop worship and to close down churches or risk their violent attacks.
The association said it was also learnt that it was the Police that even informed the state chapter of CAN about the threat.
“We know that all kidnappings and other criminalities being perpetrated in the North western part of the country are the handiwork of terrorists who either migrated from the Northeast or those who were released under the purported rehabilitation programme of the federal government.
“Now that a Federal High Court has labelled those criminals terrorists, we call on the Police, the military authorities and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge of the terrorists who have turned kidnappings into the biggest business venture in the geopolitical zone,” the association urged.
It said that the way and manner by which security agencies had been handling the criminals was totally unacceptable, reprehensible and unprecedented.
It said the criminals remained criminals irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations and they should be treated as just.
“We also called on the Department of State Security and the Inspector General of Police to Investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.
“The leadership of the national Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in our recent visit to Sokoto and Kebbi states was alarmed, surprised and shocked by the record of those criminals who are killing and kidnapping with impunity in the area as if there was a pact between them and the security agencies. Now that both the leaderships of Christianity and Islam in the country are working together on how to stop their criminalities in the Northwest, they are now trying to introduce divisive ways by declaring war against Christians and churches in the zone especially in Zamfara State where they are gradually turning into their strongholds.
“We have no problem with Islam or with our Muslim brothers and sisters but with the handful fanatics and their financiers who have declared war against Christianity. We appeal to all peace-loving Muslims to speak against those who are painting Islam what is not. We know that there is no right thinking Muslim leaders who will be happy with the killing of Christians,” CAN said.
It called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction any Commissioner of Police or Zonal Police Commanders and the Director of State Security Services wherever kidnappers operated in the country thenceforth.
That, it said, would go a long way in reducing the menace as we the yuletide was drawing nearer.
CAN stated further: “We have never had it this bad. We also called on the federal government to refund all the ransom paid for the release of those who were abducted in the last five years. We reiterate our quest for the State Police in order to reduce the security burden on the federal government controlled Police. The Police have been overwhelmed with the menace of insecurity in the country.
“President Buhari should also direct the Police to arraign all suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists in their custody with a view to stopping those who are perpetrating the atrocities. Failure to do this will force the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ask our members to embrace the principle of self- defence wherever the security agencies appeared compromised. Up till today, the perpetrators of the genocide in the Southern Kaduna are still walking freely despite the killings of hundreds of our members. We cannot be reduced to refugees in the country that belongs to us again.
“Finally, we call on all Christians and peace loving Muslims to pray against their threats and for our security agencies to be able to stop all criminalities in the country. Enough is enough.”