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Insecurity: Anarchy looms, clerics warn as protests hold nationwide

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…Adeboye calls for overhaul of Nigeria’s security infrastructure
…leads thousands on 2-km prayer walk
… Delta CAN asks for Amotekun in N/Delta
…Benue CAN — We have lost faith in the leadership of this country
… Enough of the killings – Lagos CAN
… We see nothing wrong in CAN’s prayer walk – NSCIA
…adds divine intervention needed to tackle insecurity
… Bandits’ kill seminarian — after three weeks in captivity
… Murder of Seminarian: Archbishop Martins says Nigeria is drifting towards anarchy

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By Dayo Johnson, Dapo Akinrefon, Sam Eyoboka, Festus Ahon, Peter Duru, Shina Abubakar, Olayinka Latona, Luminous Jannamike, Shina Abubakar

The Christian community, yesterday, held payers and protests across the country to draw the Federal Government’s attention to the rising spate of killings, banditry and insecurity across the nation.

The prayer walk and protests was called by the national body of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to protest the gruesome killing of the CAN Chairman in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram terrorists, among other killings in the nation.

This came as General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, called for a total overhaul of the security infrastructure, expressing worry over the state of insecurity in the country.
He also led members of his church in a peaceful street protest to express displeasure at the gruesome killings of innocent people in the country.

Similarly, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has backed the national prayer walk declared by CAN, to protest the country’s palpable state of security.

The NSCIA, under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, described the walk as a step in the right direction, stressing that divine intervention was needed to bring the reign of terror to an end in the country.

Meanwhile, one of the four students of Catholic Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaduna, who spent three weeks in captivity, has been killed by his captors.

Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins, who condemned the killing of seminarian Michael Nnadi, said gruesome murder of the innocent young man was yet another indication of the failure of the present security arrangement of the Federal Government to address insecurity in the nation.

Overhaul of Nigeria’s security infrastructure — Adeboye

Pastor Adeboye told the congregation before the commencement of the walk that it was in accordance with the three-day fasting and prayer organised by the national body of CAN.

He said he decided to lead a prayer walk to protest the continued killings of innocent lives in the country by insurgents, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, militants and ritualists in all our states.

He said, “Today (yesterday), members of RCCG led by me embarked on a prayer walk that will usher in a new dawn in our dear country, Nigeria.

“The prayer walk was aimed at offering prayers and supplications unto God to save Nigeria from being consumed by insurgents, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, militants and ritualists in all our states.

READ ALSO: BIG STORY: Fresh photos show Pastor Adeboye, RCCG members protest killings, banditry

“Furthermore, we declared that Jesus who is the Prince of Peace is our Lord and King. We carried and displayed several placards saying ‘No’ to further killings and demanding that the Federal and State governments should rise up to their civic responsibility of securing the lives and properties of her citizens.

“In addition to this, we suggest that the security infrastructure in our nation be overhauled and improved drastically. It is our prayer and burning desire that peace will reign in our land. It is our heart-cry that our current security challenges will be a thing of the past.”

The protest started around 10.45 a.m., shortly after the church’s monthly thanksgiving service.

Lamenting at the state of the nation’s economy, he prayed for the restoration of the nation’s economy and growth in all areas said there was a time that naira was equal to a dollar in Nigeria.

Para-Mallam hail CAN for the protest

A Nigerian-born Continental Church and Mission Leader and Peace and Social Justice Advocate, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, has hailed the CAN Prayer/Peace Protests Marches, saying the decision by the leadership of CAN at the national level and supported by the states, to call Christians to fast and pray for three days was not only a step in the right direction but highly commendable.

“The massive support from church leaders and followers across the nation and the denominational divide also signifies our commitment to collectively unite in the face of evil. By uniting in this way, we are also making a powerful statement both locally and globally.

“I am pleased that the world is listening in practical ways and giving attention to what is happening in Nigeria and the plight of Christians in what they are going through. More global voices from high places will continue to speak out against the many faces of social injustice and religious persecution plaguing our country. That is definite. The Church will do well to commit itself to being salt and light to the world.

“This should reassure and encourage our hearts. We need to both believe and live as counter-cultural agents against corruption in the Church and country.”

National insecurity: Enough of the killings – Lagos CAN

Chairman, Lagos State chapter of CAN, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, who called on government at all levels to rise to the occasion, said “enough is enough.”

The national body of CAN had earlier called on all Christians across the country to embark on a ‘prayer walk’ yesterday to protest the gruesome killing of the CAN Chairman in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram terrorists.

Addressing journalists after the peaceful walk, Apostle Bamgbola called on President Muhammed Buhari to overhaul the security apparatus in the country to curb the killings.

Maintain Nigeria’s status as secular state, RCCG tells FG

Members of RCCG, yesterday, during the protest urged the Federal Government to ensure that Nigeria is not exclusively allied with any religion, saying no religious group should be supported above the others.

Speaking during the prayer walk, Pastor Ezekiel Odeyemi, RCCG’s Assistant General Overseer in-charge of Northern region, said the protest was to demonstrate the Church’s disapproval of the killings and bloodshed.

Odeyemi said, “The Church is coming out to condemn the frequent killings in the country. Nigeria is a secular state, and everybody has right to worship God in whatever way he chooses.
“Our advice to the leadership of the country is for them to ensure that no religion is

supported above the other. They must ensure the secularity of Nigeria is maintained. So long as this is done, there will be no problems and peace will reign across the country.

“We grew up in this country loving and tolerating one another. Our differences, especially in religion didn’t matter. But all that have suddenly changed. That’s why we are having all these bloodshed,” he said.

Delta CAN asks for Amotekun in N’Delta

In Delta State, the state CAN chapter decried the high rate of killings, kidnapping, arm banditry and other forms of crime in the country, urging South South governors to come together and put up a formidable security outfit like Amotekun to compliment the effort of the Police and other security agencies in the region.

Speaking during a press briefing after a 3-day fasting and prayer rally declared by the association, Senior Apostle Sylvanus Okorote said recent security developments in Nigeria calls for worry and expressed displeasure in the Federal Government’s handling of matters concerning the security of lives and property of Nigerians.

Okorote said: “Federal Government and Presidency should accept, encourage and support other geopolitical zones to design their version of ‘Amotekun’, a security apparatus which I believe will best match the security challenges of states within each region.

READ ALSO: Adeboye calls for overhaul of Nigeria’s security infrastructure

“The Federal Government should give all ethnic nationalities the right of security which is the primary responsibility of the government. Give all regions freedom and protection to practice their faith peacefully. Stop by all means, the killing of Christians and overthrowing of Christians communities by armed militia.”

Calling on President Buhari to review the performance of his service chiefs, he said, “The President should honorably retire them for fresh hands to man the country’s security outfit.”

Okorote told the Federal Government to restore the dignity and independence of the judiciary by obeying court orders, urging the National Assembly to speedily legislate on the “total ban on open grazing.”

We have lost faith in the leadership of this country – Benue CAN

CAN Benue State chapter, yesterday, said it has lost faith in the leadership of the country and appealed to the international community to intervene in the spate of killings in the country.

Chairman of Benue CAN, Rev. Akpen Leva said, “Enough is enough, the bloodshed has become too much. We are in a country where the life of a cow is more important than that of human.

“What a nation, we now live in fear. Nigerians are killed and their killers walk around freely without the authorities arresting them, our hearts bleed and we cannot continue like this.

“Our leaders must be alive to their responsibilities and save our country the bloodshed and killings of Christians which is perpetrated on a daily basis.

“We are also appealing to the international community to step into the Nigerian situation and stop the ceaseless killings of Christians before we are totally wiped out,” Rev. Leva said.

Earlier, Vice Chairman of CAN and Benue Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship on Nigeria, PFN, Bishop Mike Angou in a sermon titled “Be a Prepared Christian” charged Christians to be vigilant.
Osun protest

Members of RCCG, yesterday, joined other members of the church nationwide to protest against insecurity and killings of Christians across the nation, especially in the Northern part of the country.

The protest was led by the presiding Pastor, RCCG, The Breakforth Parish, Osogbo, Olagunju Abioye.

The protest started by 11:10a.m., shortly after the Sunday service at Odi- Olowo Street, Osogbo and march through the street to the popular Ola-Iya junction in the state capital.

Members of the church were armed with placards with several inscriptions such as, “We say no to terrorism”, ” All Souls are precious to God”, “RCCG/CAN say Every life matter,” “Stop killing now,” and many more.”

The pastor and members prayed fervently at Ola-Iya junction before the terminated the protest in the church.

Akure protest

Christians in Ondo State under CAN, joined in the protest against the incessant killings in the country.
For over two hours, Akure, the Ondo State capital stood still as the protest lasted.

Speaking during the prayer, the Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Bishop Jude Arogundade, lambasted the Federal Government for folding its arms while the citizens of the country are being slaughtered on daily basis by the terrorists, herdsmen and other criminals.

Arogundade said, “The Prayer protest” became necessary to call on God to deliver the nation from the bondage of the terrorists, while the government had failed to defend the people of the county.

“We are here because for so long and for too long, we have seen a government that is playing ostrich, that will want to give audience to organisation such as Myetti Allah and will want to give N100billion to them recently and so many other organisations that we know so well in this country

“This is time for us to speak out clearly, if the government can no longer defend the Christians in this country, we will defend ourselves, it is our right and duty, especially when we can see and can see clearly that existence can no longer defending the law-abiding and hard-working Nigerians any more.

“Every country in the world will defend the defenceless, the hardworking, honest and ordinary people but our government continue to look the other way. They prefer to arrest those who are protesting against the system rather than those who are destroying the system.

“We have come to pray for you, to see the truth and the truth to set you free. We pray for our government that they may uphold the truth and justice.”

Nasarawa 3 days prayers

The Nasarawa State Chapter of CAN, commenced three days intense prayer over the spate of insecurity across the country.

Bishop Joseph Masin, the state’s CAN chairman at beginning of the prayers held at the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ, ERCC, Lafia-Central, said that divine intervention was needed to address the increasing insecurity in the country.

Masin said that as religious leaders, they were not happy with the way citizens were killed carelessly in parts of the country.

The bishop called on the government to be proactive and prioritise the security of its citizens irrespective of their religious affiliations.

He urged Nigerians to shelve their differences and unite in order defeat the terrorists and other criminal elements threatening the survival of the nation.

The leaders and other members of the Christians body in the state gathered in Lafia, the state capital and other Local Government Areas for the prayers that would be concluded on Wednesday.

The programme featured prayers for peace, unity, development and continues integration of the country by different clergies.

We see nothing wrong in CAN’s prayer walk – NSCIA

Meanwhile, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has backed the national prayer walk declared by CAN, to protest the country’s palpable state of security.

NSCIA, under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, described the walk as a step in the right direction, stressing that divine intervention was needed to bring the reign of terror to an end in the country.

Ibrahim Aselemi, spokesman of the Council, said in a chat with Vanguard, yesterday, “As a religious body, NSCIA is not opposed to any constitutional means that aims at bring Nigeria’s palpable insecurity to an end.

“If CAN has decided to go to God in prayer, we think it is a step in the right direction. We have also been praying, though not as a corporate body, for God to intervene in our situation. As much as the military are in the field fighting insurgency, we need divine intervention to bring an end to terror in the country.

“We commend the action of CAN, especially at a time when some people think the Christian body is conducting itself like an opposition party going by some of its recent utterances.

“We all need to go to God in prayers to seek for his forgiveness and intervention. So, we support the nationwide prayer walk. There is nothing wrong in that.”

Bandits’ kill seminarian — after three weeks in captivity

On a sad note, one of the four students of Catholic Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaduna, who spent three weeks in captivity, has been killed by his captors.

The victim identified as Nnadi Michael was abducted alongside three others when gunmen invaded the seminary located at Kakau on the Kaduna-Abuja road in Chikun Local Government Area of the state on January 9.

The others were reportedly released following the payment of an undisclosed ransom.

In a statement by Joel Usman, registrar of the seminary, confirmed the killing of Michael.

“This is to inform all our friends and well wishers that the remaining abducted Seminarian has been found dead.
“Thank you very much for your prayerful support. Let us keep praying for Nigeria in great distress. Please let us remain faithful in the Risen Lord. May the soul of our brother, Nnadi Michael and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace with the Lord.”

Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, could not be reached for reaction as his phone was switched off at the time this report was filed.

The killing came after Bola Ataga, wife of a medical doctor based in Kaduna, was murdered.

Gunmen had broken into their house, seizing the woman and two of her children. They later demanded a ransom of N150 million which the family could not raise, resulting in her death.

After killing her, the suspected bandits demanded N20 million ransom for the release of the deceased’s two children who are still in captivity.

Murder of Seminarian: Archbishop Martins says Nigeria is drifting towards anarchy

CATHOLIC Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins in a statement by the Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, warned that the persistent cases of inability of the Federal Government to safeguard the lives of innocent Nigerians was capable of breeding a state of anarchy in the land as the people cannot just fold their hands and watch themselves slaughtered like animals.

He said, “I received with great sadness the news of the murder of the fourth seminarian, Mr. Michael Nnadi, who was kidnapped recently in Kaduna. This was a young man who abandoned all with the desire to serve His creator and humanity, now murdered for no just cause. This is just one of several cases of innocent Nigerians being killed on daily basis by gunmen while our security services and their chiefs watch as if they were helpless.

“Only recently, we had the case of the CAN Chairman in Adamawa State who was executed and before that the murder of 11 innocent people by so-called ISWAP and the execution of the two students returning to their studies in Maiduguri. We have also had situations of suicide bombers going into mosques to murder people who had simply gone to worship God as they know Him. This appalling situation must come to an end. We cannot just fold our arms and allow these monstrous activities to continue to thrive. The consequences of the dastardly acts on the psyche of Nigerians can only be imagined. The Federal Government must act now before things get out of hand.

“For a while now, many Nigerians from different walks of life have been calling for a revamping of the security arrangements in the nation even if it means the replacement of the Heads of the various Security Agencies in order to give room for new ideas. It is beyond doubt that the gains of the past few years are being lost because those at the helm of affairs and the soldiers in the thick of the war are tired and need to be replaced. The strategy for executing the war needs to be reexamined to determine its effectiveness.”

He condoled with the families of the slain seminarian, the Bishop of Sokoto, the priests and faithful of the Diocese as well as the staff and seminarians of the Good Shepherd Seminary and indeed all the people of Nigeria and the Catholics in particular.

He urged them to remain calm and prayerful, assuring them that light would eventually prevail over darkness.
Archbishop Martins, while warning that no group of people should be allowed to continue to operate outside the law said that the kids glove approach being utilized by the security agencies in addressing insecurity in the land was not yielding the desired result.

He insisted that the only way the Federal Government can reassure the people that they are committed to their welfare by ensuring mass arrest of the perpetrators and bringing an end to the menace of kidnapping across the land.

Vanguard Nigeria News

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