The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Friday expressed concern over the frequent rate of attacks on Christians who are living in the northern part of the country.
This is just as two unidentified arsonists, on Friday, March 20, 2015 set ablaze, a branch of the Living Faith Church popularly called Winners Chapel in Giwa, Headquarters of Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The burning of the church might not be unconnected with its founder, Bishop David Oyedepo’s purported endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of today’s presidential and national assembly elections.
Reacting to the attack, the CAN described it as one of many, an example of what to come, if government and security forces failed to take action.
The President of Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nijeria (Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Christians), General Ishaku Ahmed Dikko (rtd) and the Director of National Issues in Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr. Sunny Oibe in a joint statement, in Abuja, called on security agencies to act fast to avoid violence in the region, which was the epicenter of a post-election violence in 2011.
According to Messrs Dikko and Oibe, the Christians in the North, particularly the Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri speaking Christians, who are indigenous in these States and live within and among their kith and kin, “are in serious jeopardy”.
The duo in a statement titled: “Presidential Elections 2015: Signs of what to expect”, pointed out that “the Church was razed to the ground and nothing was saved from the Church including the building.
“This action surprised the Christian Community, especially the Church members, as there was no tension or any sign of it between Christians and Muslims in the town”.
They maintained that the level of hostility against Christians in the area was so obvious, in spite of the fact that they all speak same language.
“It is however, a known fact that the people of the Local Government have not been friendly with the Christian Community even though over 90 percent of them are of the same Huasa – Fulani indigenes.
“The incidence actually became more worrisome when no effort was made by a passerby to assist in putting out the fire. In fact, it was a Fulani herdsman that saw the fire and reported to the Police Station. Only one Policeman and a Christian volunteer that ran to the scene and attempted to put out the fire but of course could not achieve anything.
“This situation and the circumstances surrounding the incidence are a cause of serious concern. If this can happen more than a week to the Presidential Elections, what shall we expect during or after the elections? Is this a sign of what to expect or a dress rehearsal of a repeat of 2011 Post – Election Violence? This is a wakeup call to the Federal, State and Local Government Authorities, especially the Security Agencies.
“The Christians in the North, particularly the Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri speaking Christians, who are indigenous in these States and live within and among their kith and kin, are in serious jeopardy”.