CAN Accuses Northern Govs of Diverting Post-Election Funds
Northern States and Federal Capital Territory chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused some northern governors of diverting funds meant for victims of 2011 post-election crisis in the region.
This was part of the resolutions of the national executive committee of the CAN after their meeting on the state of the nation in Kaduna, even as they were short of mentioning names of the governors involved in the purported diversion of the funds.
In a 10-point resolution signed by the chairman of the communiqué drafting committee, Elder Danladi Yarima, it noted that the funds were not judiciously used simply because majority of the victims of the post-election violence were Christians.
The CAN called on the Federal Government to carry out a comprehensive investigation on how the funds were used, since the country belongs to all Nigerians.
The Northern Christian body also expressed worry about social, economic and political backwardness of the region, saying that it was because all relevant stakeholders are not being carried along in the affairs of developing States in the North.
The communiqué noted that it was the people’s agitation that led to the constitution and conveyance of the 2014 national conference, calling on the Federal Government to implement the report of the Conference, in order to address recorded injustices across the country.
However, Christians are called upon to engage in prayers and fasting as enjoined in the Bible, so that God will intervene in the nation’s problems.
The communiqué reads in part, “Funds released by the Federal Government for payment of compensation to many of the victims of the 2011 post-election violence have not been paid to those affected. Some northern governors have converted such funds to some other use due to their intolerance of the prospective predominantly Christian victims.
“Churches, shops and homes that were destroyed, have remained unrepaired. Even some governors that were willing to disburse the funds completely abused the whole process to the detriment of the Christian victims.
“We call on the Federal Government to carry out a comprehensive investigation of how such funds were used. This nation belongs to all of us. Every person’s fundamental human rights must be guaranteed, no matter such person’s tribe, religion or political inclination.
“We, in Nigeria, must learn to have respect for the dignity of every human being created in the image and likeness of God. For too long a few ethnic groups have chosen to lord it over on all the others. This ‘superiority’ attitude has given rise to constant conflicts leading to the destruction of lives and property. The situation must change for us to experience peace and development in the northern states.
“The northern states have remained backward socially, economically and politically because all the relevant stakeholders are not carried along. It was the people’s agitation that led to the constitution and conveyance of a national conference.
“We call on the Federal Government to implement the report of the National Conference, in order to address recorded injustices. We cannot afford to pretend that people do not have grievances that need our collective attention.
“The meeting condemns the neglect of the thousands of the internally-displaced persons in, especially the various camps spread across the country. The Federal, State and Local Governments have not shown enough concern and the shoddy manner our IDPs have been treated so far underscores the very low premium we place on the welfare of our citizenry. Policies and programmes should be put in place to cater for them, including those who reside in homes of relatives and good Samaritans.
“We have noted, with concern, the recent pronouncements of the Federal Government about the issue of cattle grazing reserves and routes. The truth of the situation is that such reserves and routes already exist in the nineteen northern states of Nigeria.
“The plan now is to extend the practice to the forested and tse-tse fly-infested southern states! Why encourage a primitive practice for the purpose of colonization and domination when modern techniques of animal husbandry (like ranching) can be employed to improve the economies of the already over-grazed, but conducive, northern states?
“We have very good reasons to believe that the pursuit of the issue of cattle grazing reserves and routes is responsible for the heightened attacks of innocent farming or fishing communities, especially in the Middle-Belt states.
“The sophisticated arms/weapons used by the so-called cattle-herders leave us in no doubt about the collaboration that goes on between the said cattle-herders and some insurgents (sometimes hired from neighbouring countries).
“How can a simple argument, which led to some criminal act, lead to the
razing of entire five villages in Girei Local Government of Adamawa State? Why would any government allow such impunity and lawlessness instead of carrying out investigation and punishing the culprits? Are we going back to the age of internecine wars, in order to gain ‘yet unconquered’ territories?
“We appreciate the efforts being made by the Federal Government to render Boko Haram “technically” incapacitated. With the recent attacks on Dalori in the outskirts of Maiduguri and the consequent waste of lives of innocent persons in such a gruesome manner, we must adopt a multi-faceted approach.
“This kind of approach ensures that we eliminate those who live amongst us and yet help these vicious characters in carrying out such heinous destruction of human beings and property. Government should be proactive, practical and sustaining in its defensive activities.
“Related to the fore-going, the meeting noted how minority ethnic groups and predominantly Christian communities are being terrorized over land matters in the Middle-Belt states. Individuals are harassed or sometimes tortured or killed in the hope of instilling fear in them as happened recently in Rijana in Kaduna State. Many of such cases are not reported because of fear of not obtaining justice and fair-play from the security agents, who are viewed as collaborators in the crime of subjugation.
“The meeting noted that necessary seriousness was not accorded the formulation of the 2016 budget. The said budget was deliberately over-bloated to find justification to approach Islamic Financial Institutions. The Federal Government has already commenced negotiations. Some northern governors have also joined in the fray as if playing out a hidden script or agenda.”