The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Thursday, challenged President Muhammadu Buhari, to arrest killer herdsmen ravaging Adamawa communities as prove he does not favour them against other Nigerians.
The group also criticized security agencies for failing to stop the latest massacre in Neman and Demsa areas of the state.
Militiamen suspected to be strike force for Fulani herders descended on communities in Numan and Demsa, killing scores including two village heads, women and children in raids that lasted hours.
The raids were carried out between Monday and Tuesday, barely 48 hours after the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, visited Numan and gave assurance security would be strengthened in the area.
It is not known whether Mr. Idris took any action on the promise he made to the people of the area and which he reiterated when he visited the state Governor, Jibrila Bindow.
But the Adamawa State Chairman CAN, Stephen Mamza, in a statement said Mr. Buhari must act boldly and decisively to show he is not taking sides with the herders who have ravaged many parts of the country.
“We call on the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari as a matter of urgency to act promptly and to deal with offenders as a matter of justice and an assurance that his government ‘belongs to everybody and to nobody’ and to disabuse the minds of the public that some persons or tribes are ‘sacred cows,’” the group said.
While it mourned and remembered those who lost their lives in Numan and Demsa clashes between herdsmen and farmers including seven mobile policemen, CAN said security agencies failed to act on valid intelligence report made available to them.
“We wish to state clearly that life is a gift from God and that life is sacred,” CAN said.
“We appreciate the sacrifices being made by some of our security personnel as they protect the lives and properties of innocent citizens, more especially the seven mobile policemen who were gruesomely murdered last week in the Numan area.
“However, we also observe the complicity and inaction by some security agencies in respect of the on-going crisis. It is such a sad and disturbing thing to live in a nation where the security agencies have heard reports of impending attacks by armed men around the bushes of villages surrounding Numan but failed to act.
“We wish to state here that people are seriously losing confidence in government at all levels as they fail to protect the lives and property of her citizens forgetting the sacred oath they took.”
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The attacks against Numan and its environs, the group said, were foretold by people who do not want peace to prevail in the area.
It said the coordinated attacks of communities by armed men in the Numan areas have assumed dangerous proportions but lamented the failure of state actors to take decisive measures to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.
“The silence of some of our highly placed religious, traditional and political leaders on the Numan crisis can be interpreted as an approval of the killings,” CAN insisted.
“Local communities had precisely and concisely sighted well-armed killers in different locations over the past days and had reported same to the security agencies but no one listened to them.
“We are disheartened by the claim of some security agents in the State that they ‘had boosted security in the areas.’ Those who escaped the crisis complained bitterly about the lack of security presence most especially in the attacked communities and areas where the armed killers were moving towards.
“We call on the security agencies to be truthful in their operations and to perform their primary duty of securing lives and property in and around Numan and Demsa areas in order to restore public confidence in their work,” said the association.
The group invited Christians in the state to begin a three-day fasting and prayers from Friday 8th December to the evening of Sunday 10th December 2017 for security and peace in Numan, Demsa and Adamawa State.
“We call on all Christians in Adamawa State to be law-abiding citizens and remain very vigilant of suspicious persons bent on destroying our peace. We pray for the souls of the faithful departed that through the mercy of God, they may rest in peace.
“We equally call on the Federal and State Governments to make provisions for the displaced persons as a matter of urgency, to render free medical treatment to the injured and make adequate compensation for those who lost their means of livelihood and properties,” said the said.