Samson Ayokunle, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has asked President Muhammadu Buhari why herdsmen allegedly carrying out killing in various communities across the country are not arrested.
At a meeting with which took place at the presidential villa in Abuja on Friday, Ayokunle spoke of the violence allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen.
The CAN president, who shared his experience at Ancha, a village in Plateau state, said if allowed to continue, the killing would lead to a breakdown of law and order.
“Recently I went to a village called Ancha in Bassa local government of Plateau state where 21 Christians were killed overnight by herdsmen. My church in that village lost 20 members out of the 21 and we gave them mass burial. It was a gory sight to behold,” Ayokunle said.
“The most painful and baffling thing about it was that after that attack, they came to the same area again and killed another 24 people with none of them arrested by the enforcement agents. What a complicity! Why are the herdsmen devastating communities without being arrested? Why are they not prosecuted? Why was the source of their ammunition not investigated? Why do they roam about with guns without being arrested?
“All these are begging for the quick attention of the president so that the people they are attacking also might not seek self-defence which may lead to the breakdown of law and order in the nation.”
He also reiterated the call on the federal government to withdraw the country from all religious organisations.
Ayokunle asked the executive and legislative arms of government to prevail on northern states to give certificate of occupancy to churches.
“Many excuses are presently being given by state governments in the north to deny Christians the right of building their own places of worship,” he said.
“Recently, Jigawa state government pulled down some church structures under the guise that they did not have building permit. The truth of the matter as obtained from the chairman of CAN in the state was that the churches had applied for permission to build for not less than a year or more without any response.
“Do the Christians in the north not have the right to build their houses of worship and serve God without fear or favour? If Nigeria is one country, this type of religious discrimination must come to an end.”
He asked the president to correct the “apparent lopsidedness” in appointments.
“In the recently released statistics of appointments made by this administration so far, there was apparent lopsidedness because while some states have over thirty people appointed, others do not have more than three,” he said.
“How can people from such states with three have the sense of belonging to this nation and this administration?”