By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Revd. Samson Ayokunle, on Wednesday, called on the international community to rise up and offer Nigeria help to win the raging battle against Boko Haram that has claimed thousands of lives in parts of the country.
Ayokunle, who lamented the abduction of 333 students of Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State, said the unfortunate incident by Boko Haram terrorists confirmed that the insecurity experienced in parts of the country could snowball into a civil war without the intervention of the international community.
In a statement signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, the CAN President, said: “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) calls on all relevant security agencies to rise up and liberate all these innocent students before those who are holding them captive begin using them as suicide bombers.
“We also call on the International Community to come to our aid in Nigeria and help put to a permanent end the siege of terrorists, bandits and criminal herdsmen masquerading and causing mayhem in our country. They shouldn’t wait till when the situation snowballs into a civil war.”
According to him, the government appeared undisturbed by the worsening security in the country, despite all the killings that were being recorded daily.
Ayokunle said, “The President turned down the invitation of the House of Representatives to explain and rub minds with the legislators on the way out of our deplorable security situation in the country.
“What an attitude of ‘I don’t care!’ President Muhammadu Buhari should remember that history is being written about him going by the way he is addressing all these security challenges just as we are talking about the Chibok schoolgirls and the Jonathan administration.
“This was what CAN foresaw long before now when we were calling on the President to sack the service chiefs and by extension to overhaul the security architecture. But he was not ready to listen to the voice of wisdom.”
CAN advised President Buhari to revisit his electioneering promises on security and compare them with the current situation, urging him also to disregard the bad advice from the cheerleaders around him.
“They are enemies of the nation and of his administration. The country is almost becoming a failed nation. Kidnapping has reached unimaginable proportion with no clue to it from the security agents.
“Victims’ relatives and friends are being left at the mercy of the kidnappers as they bargain for the release of their people as if they are commodities put out for sale. Week after week, we continue to witness major assaults or debilitating attacks on innocent citizens.
“Is there no government in place anymore? Is this the way other governments of the world respond to life consuming threats like we have?”
Ayokunle described the abduction of 333 students of GSS Kankara as ‘another tragic chapter in the history of the country’, adding that the fact that the incident happened while the President was in the State meant the terrorists have sent a strong message to him that the security architecture of the country had been compromised.
“The abduction has also exposed the failure of both the government and the security agencies to learn from the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014 in Borno State and 110 schoolgirls at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, in Yobe State in 2018.
“It also means all stakeholders in the Education sector have learnt nothing from the two historic tragedies despite the fact that our security agencies have failed to secure the release of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and the only Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who is still wasting in the den of the terrorists,” the statement said.
The apex Christian body also called for the suspension of the boarding facilities in all the private and government schools in the Northern part of the country until the security situation improves.
“We equally advise the Federal government to direct the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to provide protection for schools and colleges nationwide, especially in the areas where security appears compromised,” Ayokunle said.
He prayed for peace to envelop the hearts of the relatives of the students and for God to intervene in the affairs of the nation.
“Our hearts go out to the parents of those innocent students and we pray that very soon, they will reunite with their children in Jesus’ name.
“It is regrettable, disturbing, disheartening and unfortunate that despite the menace of insecurity and its attendant consequences, there’s no one who has conscience to follow the path of honour.
“May the Lord intervene in the affairs of our nation which appears to be irredeemable by man,” the statement added.