The Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned the Christmas day attacks on Plateau communities that left 96 persons dead and many houses set ablaze.
Earlier reports noted that the latest killings occurred in the NTV community near Bokkos Local Government Area of the state, in the early hours of Monday.
The Plateau State Police Command, on Tuesday, disclosed that 96 persons were killed while 221 houses were set ablaze during the Christmas Eve attacks by gunmen in the state.
In a statement on Tuesday, the CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, condoled with the bereaved communities, and described the attacks as “a direct assault on our shared values of peace, unity, and mutual respect”.
While commending the quick intervention of the military and Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, Okoh urged security to intensify intelligence gathering, to pre-empt and forestall future attacks, adding that they must move from reactive to preventive measures.
The statement partly read, “We mourn with the families, friends, and communities who tragically lost their loved ones in the villages of Ruku, Hurum, Darwat, Mai Yanga Sabo, NTV, and Lisham Kwahasnat community in Wase LGA. We stand with you at this time of grief, and our prayers go out to you for comfort and strength.
“We condemn these acts of violence in the strongest possible terms. The burning down of houses, worship centers, and the destruction of properties worth millions of naira is not only a criminal act but also a direct assault on our shared values of peace, unity, and mutual respect. Such acts have no place in our society and must not be allowed to prevail.
“We commend the swift intervention of the Military and the deployment of a joint police and military task force to restore peace and prevent further lawlessness in the affected communities. However, while appreciating these immediate responses, we urge the security agencies to intensify their efforts in intelligence gathering and proactive interventions to pre-empt and forestall these types of dastardly acts in the future. Our people deserve to live in peace, and it is high time we moved from reactive to preventive measures”.
The CAN president also urged Nigerians to remember the victims’ families and reach out to them in the spirit of the festive season, while calling on citizens to shun all forms of violence and embrace peace and unity.