Don’t drag us into war– Yakowa
CAN threatens retaliation
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, has said that a war between Christians and Muslims is possible in the country if the current security challenges are not tackled.
He said that President Goodluck Jonathan might not be responsible for the present security challenges, but that as the President “he holds the key and is duty-bound to take decisive steps to bring an end to the present situation,” adding that he had earlier alerted him about the future of the country.
Bishop Kukah, who stated this yesterday in Abuja during a National Summit on the Freedom of Information Act, organised by Media Rights Agenda, stressed: “I warned him about the future of Nigeria; I am convinced that Nigeria is running out of time. There is an impending war between Muslims and Christians in the country.”
He noted that the attacks on the Christian communities in the North are a deliberate attempt to push them out of the North.
“This country is ours to build and construct; nobody owns this country; the country belongs to all of us as citizens of this country and we have the right to reside in any part of the country. If the President does not take decisive steps, we may be pushed to war,” he said.
Speaking on the Freedom of Information Act 2011, Bishop Kukah said that the task of ensuring effective implementation of the Act is a critical one that must involve all stakeholders and all sectors of the society.
He said the media is instrumental to the passage of the Act and must continue to play its roles to make sure the Act works effectively.
Also speaking, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said that he is prepared to work on public enlightenment with civil society organisations and other committed stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the FOI Act.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state government has urged Nigerians, particularly the people of the state, not to allow actions of the “forces of darkness” to drag them into a religious war.
It also declared that Sunday’s bomb attacks on churches and the reprisal that followed was not as a result of failure of security on the part of the government which has continued to accord the security of lives and priority the desired attention it deserved.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Governor Patrick Yakowa said that success has been recorded most of the times, during which “the forces of evil” could not succeed, adding that both the federal and state governments would continue to give security all the attention it deserves.
The statement, which was signed by the external media consultant to Yakowa, Mr. Emmanuel Ado, noted that the intention of the Islamic militant group that goes with the name Boko Haram is to ensure that both Christians and Muslims engage in senseless retaliatory attacks.
According to him, “Those killed in the attacks on the churches are innocent people that went to worship and those attacked or killed in retaliatory attacks are equally innocent people.”
While condoling with the families of those that lost their loved ones, Yakowa urged men of goodwill to stand up to be counted at this crucial period of our national life, adding that the crisis is national and to a large extent international in character.
He said that the major task ahead of the state government is rebuilding of confidence amongst all the peoples of the state, stressing that it is critical and crucial to enable the state enjoy peace.
“For Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, security and peace goes beyond soldiers and policemen on the streets. It is about justice and fairness in the administration of the state,” Ado stated.
He assured the law-abiding people of the state that the government would continue to fund the ‘Operation Yaki’ security outfit, stressing that calls for the dismantling of roadblocks would not be in the best interest of anyone as the government is convinced about their effectiveness.
Yakowa, therefore, appealed to men of goodwill to help ensure that confidence is rebuilt and assured that good will surely overcome evil in the state, adding that the state government will continue to do all in its power to ensure that the state is peaceful.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-east zone, has warned the northern state governments over the incessant bombing of churches every Sunday by Boko Haram, stressing that henceforth the Christians will retaliate every action against Christians by Boko Haram anywhere in the country.
CAN said that since the insurgency, hundreds of innocent Christians have been killed. It condemned Sunday’s wanton killings of the innocent Nigerians at their various worship places.
The south-east CAN chairman, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, who is also the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, stated this yesterday while briefing journalists immediately after the meeting of religious leaders and security agencies in Enugu. It noted that killing of Christians in the north is a clear manifestation of a religious war.
He regretted that despite the vast allocation provided for security, the police cannot guarantee the security of life and properties of Nigerians. “What is the new Inspector General of Police doing? Is changing of police uniform going to provide security to the people?” he asked.
The clergyman noted that since it has become a tradition that every Sunday is a harvest day for Boko Haram, he queried why security agencies would wait for a church to be bombed before coming to tell Nigerians not to take laws into their hands.
He said: “I can tell you authoritatively that Boko Haram is a Jihad. They have sent 2,000 Muslims to the South-east and 2,500 to the South-south in an attempt to Islamise the country”. This, he said, “is not going to work”.
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