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#Nigeria CAN to Fed Govt: stop Boko Haram now

•Oritsejafor ... yesterday •Oritsejafor … yesterday

By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

Under fire from Islamist group Boko Haram’s insurgency, Christians yesterday vowed to withdraw their co-operation with the government, if the activities of the deadly sect are not checked.

Intimidation, killings, bombings and wanton destruction by Boko Haram must stop, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) declared in what its President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, described as “final call” to the Federal Government.

The latest attack on churches was at the Bayero University old campus in Kano on Sunday.

Worshippers were bombed and shot at by men believed to be members of Boko Haram. One Professor – Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi – and 15 others died in the attacks. The sect also on Monday infiltrated the convoy of Taraba State Police Commissioner Mr Mamman Sule. Eleven people died in that attack.

On Tuesday, Boko Haram released a video on Youtube, threatening media houses with attacks.

Oritsejafor spoke in Abuja after a three-hour meeting of officials of the association to review the security situation in the country. He said: “The church leadership has hitherto put great restraint on the restive and aggrieved millions of Nigerians but can no longer guarantee such co-operation, if this trend is not halted immediately.”

Pastor Oritsejafor said it had become irrelevant whether the root cause of Boko Haram insurgency is political, religious, ethnic or ideological, adding: “The question we have always asked is this; of the 51 years of existence of Nigeria as a nation, who have governed this country most? Most of them are from a particular section of the North. What did they do with the opportunities they had? What did they do with the resources they had? We need to ask questions. The people themselves need to ask questions.

“The Almajiris, if they could read and write and understand what is happening, need to ask questions. The realities are these: we know that the bottom of all this is a radical religious ideology. We want that settled but as it is right now, it has gone beyond trying to address why this happened or where it is coming from. It has gone beyond whether it is political or about poverty. The truth is that this situation must stop.

“I will now make a final call, a final call; I repeat. I will now make a final call to the Nigerian government to use all resources available to it to clearly define and neutralise the problem as other nations have done.

“It is the ideas that people coin from the Koran and are being used to terrorise the world. Now we cannot deny that these are Muslims. That is not to say that there are no good Muslims; there are. But the truth must be told. When we keep running from the truth, we will never solve the problem.

“You will recall that at our last news conference on March 6, we told the nation that the bombings and killings of innocent Nigerians may be termed senseless, but that it is not without sense for those sponsoring the act. We also said the killings and bombings were being done according to their plans in order to instil fears with the subsequent aim of eradicating religious freedom, democratic liberties with the church and Christians as the primary target.

“We have persistently pleaded with government to take courage and act to stop the surge of terror,” Pastor Oritsejafor said.

Courtesy- The Nation

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