A major church body in Northern Nigeria, the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai have abandoned the victims of the ongoing violence in Southern Kaduna.
The church noted in a communique it issued at the end of its 67th General Church Council meeting in Jos, that armed herdsmen and bandits have unleashed attacks across states in the middle belt as well as Northern states.
According to the communique signed by Rev. Stephen Panya Baba (President) and Rev. Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jnr. (General Secretary) Southern Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Katsina and several other Northern states have witnessed the destruction of lives, farmlands and properties by the marauders.
ECWA also condemned the killings of indigenous Christians in southern Kaduna in the last few weeks and called on the Federal Government to apprehend the perpetrators because the killings have assumed a genocidal scale. It also accused the state and federal governments of lethargy and nonchalance regarding the lives of innocent Christians being killed every day.
Excerpts from the communique read;
“The Council views with serious concern the unabated attacks of armed herdsmen and bandits across the country, especially in the Middle belt and Northern States particularly in Southern Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Katsina, Zamfara, Taraba and Adamawa, as they continue to destroy lives, farms and properties of innocent members of these native communities with impunity.
“The Council condemns in strong terms the mindless killing of the indigenous Christians in Southern Kaduna over the past few weeks which has assumed a genocidal magnitude and calls on the Federal government to apprehend the perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law, and to compensate the victims in the interest of justice.
“The Council notes with grief the several attacks on Southern Kaduna Christian communities, which are the strongholds of ECWA, where over 120 persons including infants and women have been killed in the last two weeks alone, with scores injured and thousands displaced from their villages and farmlands by armed Fulani militia without any care from the Kaduna State and Federal Governments.
“The manifest nonchalance of both the Kaduna State and Federal Governments to the plight of our compatriots is suggestive of their loss of the innate humane sense of value for life and their seeming abdication of their primary responsibility of securing the lives and property of their citizens.
“Furthermore, the Council frowns at a recent statement credited to a Presidential spokesman explaining away these genocidal massacres as reprisal killings.
“No responsible government would want to be perceived as holding brief for terrorists. unless it is complicit. Thus, the Council even more worried about the callousness of the government in changing the narrative of the attacks, bending it towards blaming the victims when in actual sense it is the government that has woefully failed in its constitutional responsibility of protecting its citizens”.
“In recognition of its divine mandate, the Council reminds all of the sacredness and inviolability of the right to life, stating that no person, authority or institution has the right to terminate the life of another unlawfully and urged everyone to respect the sanctity of human life and end the wanton bloodletting in the land.”
ECWA also advocated for stronger collaboration between the government, security agencies and the communities so that the attacks can be stopped once and for all.