Christians set to fast, pray and embark on street protests in Nigeria
By Nsikan Ikpe
Nigerian Christians under the aegis of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has announced that it is organising a three-day prayer and fasting to seek God’s intervention for an end to the spate of killings across the country.
In a statement issued by the media assistant to CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, the group stated that it will also embark on a peaceful protest across the country on July 11 to register its dissatisfaction with the spate of killings.
“The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared July 9-11, 2018 as national days of prayers and fasting against unwarranted killings in the land and calls on all well-meaning Nigerians, both within and outside the country, to join Christians on 11 July, 2018 for a peaceful protest against the killings.
“CAN’s decision is hinged on wilful and persistent killings of fellow citizens in general and Christians in particular nationwide and mostly in Plateau and Benue where mass burial has become the norm without any positive response from the country’s security agencies.”
The statement also expressed what the association’s disappointment over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the leadership of Nigeria’s security sector.
“CAN is worried, disturbed and disappointed that despite all the clarion calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-organise his security team by replacing all the security chiefs, he has consistently turned a deaf ear to such calls. From all indications, the President seems to be satisfied with their poor performance and the attendant problems that have led to avoidable loss of lives and property.
“We call on all Christians in the country and in the Diaspora to participate in the three-day prayers and fasting programme for God to end all the senseless, unwarranted, and selected killings in the country. If the government has failed us, we are very sure that Our God will never fail.
“All National Executive Committee’s members of CAN, the Church and Denominational leaders have been invited to participate in a peaceful protest march to both the National Assembly and the State House to impress on the government to see the need to effectively stop the unprecedented killings.
“CAN has also directed its leadership at the state and local government levels to organise the same Peaceful Protest March to the Government House and the Local government headquarters respectively on 11 July. We are to tell the government; enough is enough. We appeal to our members to be law-abiding before, during and after the protest.”
Amnesty International, (AI) Nigeria has recently revealed that no less than 1, 813 deaths were recorded in the first half of 2018, a figure that is twice the number recorded from similar killings in 2017.
The international human rights group also blamed the government’s inaction over time as a likey catalyst for the increased rate of killings, which has been greeted by widespread outrage from many Nigerians and others in the world.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria