By Sam Eyoboka
LAGOS — PRELATE of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde has warned that if something serious, strategic and meaningful is not done Nigeria may just be working towards another avoidable civil war.
Reacting to the recent coordinated bombings of three churches in Kaduna and Zaria, the Prelate said “for how long are we going to remain silent? Here we are begging the issue while innocent people are dying and their loved ones are yet to get justice. Is it a crime to be a Christian in any part of Nigeria? Every time we raise alarm and call for action, they will say it has no religious coloration which saddens my heart the more whenever I hear that.
“Before last Sunday’s bombings, at least not less than 200 people have been killed in 12 separate attacks on churches or places of Christian worship in northern Nigeria this year and al-Qaeda-linked Islamist terror group Boko Haram has explicitly claimed responsibility for at least 10 of them. Yet, we are scratching the matter on the surface rather than intensify efforts and expose those behind these attacks,” Makinde stated.
Continuing, the Prelate said: “No fewer than 40 persons were feared killed on Sunday in Kaduna and Zaria as suicide bombers attacked three churches. And in all of these bombings and attacks on Christians and Churches, no person has been arrested or brought to book. Where are we going? Where is justice? This is what is encouraging this culture of impunity which makes it difficult for one to ascertain if the Government has the political will needed in tackling this menace headlong.
“Considering all of these, one then begins to worry, if we ever learnt anything from the last civil war which, for me, was avoidable if the principles of justice and fairness were upheld.”
I appeal to all Christians all over the North and other parts of Nigeria to refrain from reprisal attacks as the battle belongs to GOD. God will definitely fight for us as He did during the introduction of the political Sharia in Nigeria.”
Prelate Makinde said “reports monitored today (Wednesday) confirm that the militant Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’ await Wal-Jihad, the Islamic sect widely known as Boko Haram, has plans to launch further devastating attacks on Churches and Government buildings in the coming days and weeks. The sect said it planned to make the month of June 2012 the bloodiest month yet in its violent and bloody campaigns against those it tagged infidels.
“The report says they are planning a focused and bloody attack for which 300 suicide bombers have been recruited, sent to Mauritania and Somalia for training in handling weapons, bomb making and suicide bombing and they promise to start with Southern Kaduna and Plateau, two states populated with Christians, in a bid to avenge the death of Muslims who died in the reprisal attacks.
“I call on the Federal Government, to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians, especially Christians who have been so patient and have refrained from any form of violence. The constitution to which they swore expects them to do so and they have a compelling duty to uphold the Constitution to the letter,” Makinde said.
According to the cleric, “nobody is above the law. Without bringing perpetrators and sponsors of these acts of terrorism to book, justice cannot be seen to have been done which is a big threat for our collective interest as Nigerians in our quest for a united Nation.”