Calling For Disbandment Of CAN & Other Constructive Measures To End Religious & State Killings In Nigeria
(Intersociety, Nigeria: 9th July 2018)-Following mounting credibility challenges facing the present central Government of Muhammadu Buhari over its poor handling of the ongoing religious and State killings in Nigeria or “State actor and non State actor killings in the name of Islam”, in which the same Government is heavily accused of being inescapable complicit; we are deeply shocked and worried over continuing unrepentant and unapologetic stance of Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government of Nigeria.
Not done with false and indefensible excuses unleashed on all Nigerians by the Government to escape culpability and hang them and rope in its political opponents and dissent others ahead of 2019 general elections, the same Government was at it again yesterday, 8th July 2018. It had through its Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Malam Shehu Garba, vide a public statement boastfully restated that “Government has evidence that some politicians are behind killing via use of criminals and thugs; of innocent Nigerians in some States (reference to ongoing Jihadist Fulani killings and others associated with Zamfara Bandits over cattle rustling and related economic reasons)”.
The central Government also came up with newest false excuse to the effect that “climate change especially the drying up of the Chad Basin has also been compounding the problem (terror Herdsmen killings) by mounting more pressure on the population in the northern part of Nigeria”. The latest presidential concoction brings to over eleven false concoctions or indefensible excuses given by the Buhari Government regarding Fulani Herdsmen colored jihadist killings in old Middle Belt and old Eastern Nigeria since January 2018.
What Must Be Done
1. Disbandment Of CAN & Dissolution Of Its Executives: Christian Association of Nigeria formed in 1976 has outlived its usefulness especially since “traders in the house of God” penetrated its ranks or leadership. The leadership of CAN has continuously been running from pillar to pole in recent times in the midst of yearly butchering of thousands of its defenseless members and burning of hundreds of churches and Christian schools. The national leadership of CAN has also become a lobbying platform to secure a juicy visit to Aso Rock and participate in the sharing of “tfare” bounties as recently disclosed by the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF).
The recent somersault by CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle during which he reversed himself by hurriedly and suspiciously canceling the national anti Christian violence processions originally fixed for 11th July 2018-which he hinged on “forces or circumstances beyond his control”, is a clear case in point. This comes few days after the same CAN President issued a statement informing Nigerians that “CAN leaders in the 19 northern States and the FCT (Abuja) met with President Muhammadu Buhari”.
We join concerned others to express shock and demand to know what “CAN’s sectional leaders meeting with the Presidency got to do with normal activities of the body such as national anti Christian violence processions”. It further means that one day very soon, if CAN is not disbanded, a national directive shall be given to all churches to suspend their normal church services and other activities as a fallout of a “meeting with the Nigerian Presidency or for the purpose of meeting the President of Nigeria.
This is not the first time CAN’s national or zonal leaders have visited the Presidency and spoken from both sides of their mouth. Same was not only the case in their last visit to Aso Rock before the latest one, but also the Christian body was heavily indicted and accused by eminently peopled National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) of collecting and sharing between “N25m and N40m” given and collected as “presidential “tfare” (transport) envelopes”.
Christians in Nigeria must no longer have or allow a set of leaders under the umbrella of CAN to smile to the bank at the cost of the blood of thousands of their faithful massacred in broad day light and at hours of the blue law or late night. For admitting being overwhelmed by “forces or circumstances beyond his control”, CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle and members of his national executive are unfit to remain in their respective national positions as “leaders of CAN in Nigeria”.
We hereby call for immediate disbandment of CAN and dissolution or scrapping of all its national, zonal, State and local government executives. There shall be formation of new central umbrella Christian body for all Nigerian Christians with strong constitution and ethical codes to sanitize the body and persons manning all its structures and leaderships.
Two-third majority formula should also be introduced in the new national Christian body under demand to guide all its electoral processes, resolutions and decisions especially such concerning national and international campaigns including national processions against anti Christian butchery and wanton destruction of churches and Christian schools in Nigeria. Specialist centers such as inter-faith (i.e. trado-Christian), legal, research, documentation, media, lobbying; medical and victims’ emergency management should also be included in the new central umbrella Christian body in the country.
Presidency Of Muhammadu Buhari Must Do As Follows
2. (2a) Remove all the Service Chiefs and their ministerial counterparts including AGF, National Security Adviser, Minister of Interior, Defense Minister, IGP, etc, (2b) issue executive order reverting all top political, security and policing appointments so far made or to be made by Federal Government to Section 14 (3) (sectional spread and balance) of the existing Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
These include:(2c) headship, appointment and posting into Police CSP, ACP, DCP, CP and AIG ranking and their equivalent in Air Force, Navy, Army, SSS, NIA, Custom, Immigration, etc as well as Police Zonal and State Command, Federal SARS, Highway, Border, Railway, Marine, Anti Bunkering, Anti Terrorism and Operations and Criminal Investigations, (2d) proscribe the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and resign(Buhari) as its grand patron (to avert further conflict of interest), (2e) disarm armed Jihadist brigades widely suspected to be existing and mixed with Fulani Herdsmen and arrest and prosecute them for sundry killings in the country, (2f) invite the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) or Secretary General of UN to commence formal investigations into possible commission of crimes against humanity zeroing down to the killings in Middle Belt (anti Christian butchery) and Zamfara State (cow rustling and economic violence).
Other possible crimes against humanity needing urgent international criminal enquiries in the country are: (2g) killing by army and ors of 450 pro Biafra activists and 1,130 Shiite Muslims; while possible war crimes to be investigated in the Northeast include insurgency and counter-insurgency related civilian killings by armed forces of Nigeria and Boko Haram insurgents such as jet-bombing of 236 Christian IDPs and 50 rural Numan Christians in Borno and Adamawa as well as jet-bombing and killing of 159 children and custodial starvation to death of 240 civilian detainees including women and 29 children between newborn and five years in Borno.
Presidency Of Muhammadu Buhari Must Hands Off, Suspend & Abolish:
3. Existing primitive, subsistent, violent and agro-jihadist pastoralist grazing and ranching policy and forceful acquisition by Federal Government of lands belonging to indigenous Nigerians. These should be replaced by sedentary grazing”; involving the use of livestock producer vicinity or terrain grazing technology. A presidential directive or executive order should be made discontinuing and dismantling all cattle ranches in all military formations in Nigeria and restriction of same to core northern parts of Nigeria with large sedentary Fulani tribe or Fulani-Hausa population. Failure of the central Government of Nigeria to heed this clarion shall leaves Nigerians and the international community with no other option than to conclude that the Buhari Administration is indeed soaked with Islamic Jihadist agenda aimed at Islamizing the entire country.
Presidency Of Muhammadu Buhari Must Refrain From Following False Assertions
4. (4a) Those killing in the name of Fulani Herdsmen are Gaddafi trained mercenaries from Libya, (4b)Fulani Herdsmen do not carry guns except cutlasses to clear bush paths and foliage for their cattle, (4c) Fulani Herdsmen are Nigerians and they must be accommodated and not provoked to kill, (4d) give your lands to Fulani Herdsmen for ranching and grazing and avoid being killed, for it is better to stay alive landless than being a land owner in dead, (4e) killings associated with Fulani Herdsmen are purely herders-farmers clashes over grazing.
The rest are: (4f) killings in Nigeria blamed on Fulani Herdsmen are merely communal clashes, (4g) killings in Nigeria are not anti Christian killings, after all more Muslims are killed in Zamfara State than in Plateau, Kogi, Taraba, Benue, Southern Kaduna and Adamawa States put together, (4h) more people are killed under Jonathan and Obasanjo in 16 years than those killed under Buhari in three years, (4i) politicians used thugs to kill Nigerians and blame it on Fulani Herdsmen and (4j) Government will fish out and deal with politicians responsible for killing Nigerians in some States and we have signed an executive order to that effect, and (4l) climate change especially the drying up of the Chad Basin has also been compounding the problem (terror Herdsmen killings) by mounting more pressure on the population in the northern part of Nigeria
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair
Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: [email protected]
Obinuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Email: [email protected]
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Chinaza Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq.
Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights Program
Email: [email protected]