Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari merely pays lip service to Christians’ security, according to a statement from leaders in the Muslim-majority northern states.
Rev. Yakubu Pam, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), signed the statement from Christian leaders in 19 northern states and called on the government to ensure protections for persecuted Christians in the north after a spate of attacks and killings. Released on Sunday, the statement cited two particular attacks on Bridget Agabahime, a Christian woman in Kano, and Chimaije Emmanuel, a Christian man in Niger State, for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with Anglican bishops in Nigeria last week.
Pam said murder under the guise of protecting a religion was never acceptable.
“The recent ugly incidents in Kano and Niger states are regrettable and uncivilized and should not be tolerated by people of good will in this country,” read the statement.
”The perpetrators of these evil acts must be fished out with their gangs and made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrence to others who might be nursing such ambition to carry out dastardly act in the nearest future.”
“This period in the history of this nation calls for prayers and understanding among the diverse people of this country for peace to reign in all parts of the country.”
The warning comes after Buhari met with several Nigerian bishops last week to discuss the killing of Christians by Fulani herdsmen in northern Nigeria.
“We are here to offer our advice as church people from our own perspective to the president on the current national situation”, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh told Anglican News following the meeting.
“We told him many things. We are all looking for solution to issues of the herdsmen, issue of vandalism, security in one way or the other because the people are asking us and we want to have explanation for the people whom we lead.”
Okoh said he was optimistic the situation would improve over the next year.
“We believe that so far it’s been okay because of the difficulties of the times and between now and the next one year we are looking forward to something more direct now, something that will get to the people easily,” he said.
“The next one we know will be better.”