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Herdsmen: Christian groups condemn attacks on farmers

By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the 19 Northern states, Reverend Yakubu Pam, said reported attacks on farmers by suspected Fulani herdsmen would increase suffering in the country.

A cross section of members of YOWICAN, during the  Southern Youth Peace and Security Summit, held in Owerri. 
A cross section of members of YOWICAN, during the  Southern Youth Peace and Security Summit, held in Owerri.

He spoke to Southeast Voice, in Owerri, during the  Southern Youth Peace and Security Summit held in Owerri, Imo state, organized by the youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria,YOWICAN.

This came as the President of Southern YOWICAN, Oluchukwu Nnabugwu, said the sacredness of human life remains immutable.

Pam’s reason was that attacking farmers in the country would compound the problems.

He started by advising, “The young people that   they should learn to control their emotions. Whatever come their way they should be able to get a complete narrative before they act.

“With what is happening, the youth in their time, may we have hope and   because of them that Nigeria still have a future.  They youth can change the narrative from today.”

He continued:   “To us Christians is time of persecution. As Christians we can call it persecution, as Christians we can call it trial moment. It is a time of sober reflection. But with God you can come out stronger.”

“If we are discouraged and leadership are not opened to the general public to hear the complains of the people we may not make it.

“The authorities concern should be ready to keep their doors open to allow the people to shoot out their concerns,then the government should also march their words with action and not let it be a talking  show.

“Citizens want to see the government working towards achieving a reasonable peace to the average Nigerian.”

He is not happy that, “What is more disturbing is that, there is no food on the table for Nigerians to eat. Farmers who are working day and night to help their people reduce the burden on the government, here again we have the heardmen attacking them in their farms.

“And of course you may look at it on the other side that our youths have become violent and so many issues like fighting, drug addiction, cultism and all the rest have come with, so there is so much work to be done by the government of Nigeria.

“The government on their own think that they are doing something about it. Like I said earlier we need to tackle it practically, the issue is not sitting down and say what you want to do.

“Nigerians have no time to listen to explanation, what they want to see is that practically, this issue is resolved. Practically, that there is no more killings, practically, that the killers have been arrested and face their punishment. They should be sent to prison.”

Speaking also, on the  killings by suspected   Fulani herdsmen, the YOWICAN,   president,  Nnabugwu, said:  “Our heart bleeds and our soul mourns over the brutal killings of our brothers and sisters in three local government areas of Plateau state, namely: Barkin Ladi, Mangu and Riyom LGAs.

“Earlier records as at June 25, has it that no fewer than 120 persons were killed in several villages in the three affected LGAs, while over 200 others sustained gunshot injuries and about 50 houses burnt down.

“Some journalists described the incident as a genocide, while some others, as a bloodbath and  as a carnage.”

Nnabugwu, maintained that, “Whichever way it is described, the truth is: the sacredness of human life remains immutable, and as such, cannot be watered down or distorted in our minds and thinking.

“This is one fundamental principle issue we must take to mind as it concerns these killings.

“Based on the above perception, we   join every well-meaning Nigerian   and the global community to condemn the Plateau state killings by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.

It is ungodly, ‘un –human’, wicked, barbaric, unacceptable and a threat to democracy and national peace.

“However, as we manage this crisis, hoping to find solutions to it, may I then appeal that we should be temperate, discrete and civil especially with words, in order to avoid further damages. Let our position or response not be divisive or inciting.

“The good news is that 2019 general elections is here! It obviously comes with opportunities to grow and advance our democracy and improve our society. But how we approach it, is what matters most.

“The youth always remain key actors in this drama and that is why my plea goes again to our youths not to cave in to be used by any element to mar or disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections no matter the attendant inducements and enticements from  unpatriotic politicians.”

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