Defend yourselves, CAN tells Christians
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Fred Itua and Basil Obasi, Abuja
In the wake of the cold-blooded murder of Mrs. Eunice Olawale, pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Kubwa, Abuja, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has charged Christians across the country to defend themselves against any form of attacks.
General Secretary of CAN, Musa Asake, in a statement yesterday, said since it was becoming obvious that those saddled with the responsibility of protecting the lives of Nigerians were failing, Christians have no option but to take very necessary measure to protect their lives.
CAN also charged the relevant authorities to stem the spate of attacks on Christians before the situation escalates into an unmanageable national crisis. “Nigeria is dancing a macabre dance of death, both for the nation and for its citizens. It is time to stop the beat and let common sense guide the nation out of the present quagmire. A stitch in time saves nine,” it said.
Mrs. Olawale, 42, mother of seven and wife of pastor of the Divine Touch Parish of the RCCG in Kubwa, Abuja, was gruesomely murdered while preaching around Gbazango-West area of Kubwa in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in what has been tagged “religious hatred motivated murder” last Saturday.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to ensure the prompt arrest and arraignment of the assailants. The resolution was sequel to a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by Babatunde Kolawle (APC – Ondo). The House also asked the IGP to increase police presence in the area to prevent such occurrences in the future.
As the General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, yesterday morning visited Pastor Olawale Elisha at about 6am to condole with the family, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) gave the police two weeks to fish out the assailants.
Addressing journalists, chairman of Kubwa zone of PFN, Polycarp Inji, said the murder of Mrs. Olawale must not be swept under the carpet.
However, Asake who catalogued other reported killings of Christians in other parts of the country, said CAN could no longer fold its hands, while Christians were daily hacked to death.
“The unprovoked attacks on Christians and the authority’s inaction is becoming unbearable and may not be tolerated anymore. Inasmuch as we will continue to call on Christians to remain tolerant and law abiding, it is becoming inevitable to also call on them to buckle up and be ready to defend themselves against these incessant unprovoked and mindless attacks,” the statement said.
Recalling how many Christians were killed in recent times, the CAN scribe stated: “About a month ago in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, a 74-year-old Christian, was murdered at Wambai market due to an altercation with a Muslim, who came to the front of her shop to perform ablution. Her offence was that she objected to the Islamic washing rite in front of her shop.
“Just last, week, a clergyman of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Reverend Zakariya was killed by attackers suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Obi LGA of Nasarawa State. They attacked him on his farm, cut off his arms and legs, then they chopped his head with a machete.”
CAN called on the authorities, both at the states and federal, to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice if the confidence of Christians on this government must be maintained.
CAN also alleged discrimination against non-Muslims by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which it said was “assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve.”
Culled from DAILYSUN Wednesday, July 13, 2016.