By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has flayed Kaduna State government for giving primacy to building a bridge rather than securing the lives of people of the state.
According to CAN, democratic government is about securing people and giving them rights and not necessarily about building a bridge.
The Christian body’s statement came against the backdrop of the state government celebrating the construction of a bridge at Kawo.Haba when the lives of the people were not safe, as no fewer than 200 persons were abducted within two months.
CAN alleged many of its members were either kidnapped or killed in Kaduna State but noted that a conspiracy of silence could not allow the world to know.
Speaking in an interview, the Vice President of CAN in the North ,Rev Joseph John Hayab, said: “That’s why anytime you hear us challenging government, challenging security agencies, not that we don’t appreciate what they are doing, we are only saying look ,you’re not doing it for good result, you are instead doing it to protect and give criminals cover.
“Work with all of us so that we would get the result. The peace of Nigeria is my peace, it’s the peace of my family, the peace of my children…we are not born to be anybody’s enemy. We are simply saying do the right thing.
‘I’ve enumerated to you days and places that people were abducted, within the last one and half months. But because they’ve shutdown internet, the impression is as if nothing is happening.
‘’From October 3 to today, you’ll find out that the number of people bandits have abducted is more than 200. I can confidently tell you on October 3, 46 people were abducted. On October 23, there were nine people.
‘’One person who was shot, died on the 30th; then on 31st, there were 66,..when you put 46 ,66, you already have 112, in addition to nine, you have 120..Then you start talking about others….the two, the three,the four…or the six, then you talk about what just happened on Abuja-Kaduna highway. So, if I estimated 200 people, I’m not wrong.
“But because nobody seems to know the information, the impression is that all is well. But bad things have been happening around and nobody is talking. Okay, there was also another kidnap that happened in Zaria within the period in question.
‘’There was also another kidnap that happened in Kasuwan Magani within the period in question that I cannot tell you how many people were abducted. How do we know some of these things?
‘’The system of CAN is, CAN works with the community. CAN works with the people, to the extent that today if someone is kidnapped from a family, they think we have what it takes to help them.
“So, they would report to us…Rev. Dauda Sule here in Kakau Daji, his own should be around the 5th or 6th of November. He went to farm here in Hayin Nariya somewhere behind Rigasa and was picked.
‘’Last Sunday, after long negotiation, the bandits asked his wife to come with certain amount of money. They took the money and kidnapped her. She is also with the bandits as I speak to you. All those statistics we speak about are facts.
‘’What we’re appealing to our government is, can we sit up? Things are bad. We are failing. The state is going down economically, security wise, because with the shutdown of network, you know poverty has come back.
‘’In these pains, all our governor could come to do was to tell Nigerians about the bridge in Kawo.Haba!!
‘’What’s the value of having a bridge where people are dying? We want the bridge ,everybody wants development but we want peace first.
‘’A democratic government is not about building a bridge, it is about securing people and giving people right. When people are not free and you think you can boost your success by building a bridge, you’ve lost touch of what democracy is all about.
‘’I say the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos wasn’t built by a democratically elected government. It was built by a dictator. But Nigerians said ‘ we don’t like dictatorship, we like democratic governance. Give it to us and you will see how we will flourish.’’