The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Adamawa State, has accused the Adamawa state government of tactically supporting Fulani herdsmen.
CAN decried the attitude of Governor Jubirila Bindow and condemned alleged comments by Secretary to the State Government, Umar Bindir, that Fulani herdsmen don’t carry firearms.
Chairman of the association, Bishop Dami Mamza in a statement on Wednesday, in Yola, said the government was insensitive to the ongoing killings.
“We wish to call on the state government in particular to caution it’s officials on unguarded utterances during and after conflicts, as it has come to CAN’s notice that the secretary to the Adamawa state government has propounded a new firearms narrative which seeks to justify the use of firearms by Fulani in the country”, he said.
“This is dangerous and reprehensible as the law of the country does not allow any civilian the possession of illegal firearms whether Herdsmen or farmers.
“CAN condemns the silence of the state governor who has failed to rebuke or dissociate himself from the SSG’s position.
“CAN wishes to state in unequivocal terms that violent elements are easily embolden and fuelled to terror killings by such reckless and unguarded utterances.
“We are saddened by the death of over 50 people killed in the repeated attacks carried out by herdsmen in Koh Village of Girei.
“This has happened after Lawaru, Dong, Kodomti, Shafaron, Plum, Kikan, Bilachi, Bang and Nzoruwe villages of Fufore, Numan and Demsa fell to the exploit of the same herdsmen and their expatriate mercenaries killing close to 150 people, injuring several hundreds and destroying properties worth millions of naira before the start of Christmas festivities.
“It on record that less than one week ago, no fewer than twenty innocent Christian farmers were killed in separate attacks in and around Tambo.
“Luru village in particular saw its worst days when Herdsmen wielding sophisticated firearms stormed the area Killing fifteen people.
“Within the period under review, not less than 10 churches were burnt down and in some instances worshippers killed.
“On the basis of these, we stand to believe that the ongoing carnage is an attempt to discourage Christianity and to silence Christians from free religious practice.
“We make bold to reject this attempt and ask the government to stop the unfortunate development.
“Extremism seem to taken persecution to a new dimension with armed herdsmen burning down churches especially the recent attacks two days ago in Sagal community in Maiha where four of our Churches were burnt to ashes and properties destroyed.”
CAN further lamented, “the inaction of security operatives” to prevent the killings in, noting that in all the attacks, there have been sufficient alarms raised long before the actual carnages were done.
“With the incessant and spreading attacks, we feel the land is under siege and therefore calls for serious concerns from all well-meaning individuals and organisations to support any course that will restore lasting peace in the land as against sponsoring and equipping of the said herdsmen by their sponsors.
The christian body called on the state government to, “Work around the current Committee set-up on those matter that their work is objectively done and timely and ensure that previous reports on farmers/herdsmen conflicts are implemented and that Nigerian’s land borders are protected at all costs to keep none Nigerian herdsmen from flowing into the country.”