Nigeria: Boko Haram Still Killing Christians

Pastor Ayo OritsejaforAbuja 9VANGUARD) — The Christian Association Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, raised alarm over the continuous killing of Christians and burning of churches by the deadly Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in spite of the reported military onslaught against the insurgents, following the declaration of state of emergence in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

The President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, in a statement, in Abuja said the military operation were yet to effectively secure Christians and their churches, and urged the military to redouble their efforts to restore normalcy in the affected states and other parts of the north, where fundamentalists have continued to kill Christians.

The statement read in part, “while he appreciates the statement by the military high command that more towns are being secured in the operations to rid the nation of terrorist activities, he is sad by reports from Borno State where the terror has gone from the horrendous to the tragic as more Christians are still being killed and Churches burnt as reflected in many distress calls from the state by CAN officials on ground.

“Last Friday, for instance, an executive member of CAN in Gwoza Local Council, Rev. Luka Bazigila and a member of the COCIN Church, Yohanna, both of who were in attendance at a Christian fellowship were shot dead by gunmen who alighted from a Tricycle. The gunmen, apparently angry that they missed their target, the Medical director of Borno State Hospital, who was out when they arrived his residence, shot and killed his step mother.

“A Muslim guard, employed by a Christian Architect in Abuja to watch over his house was mistaken for a Christian and shot dead. One COCIN Church on the Mandara Mountain was burnt by members of the Boko Haram sect on Sunday morning”.

Oritsejafor also called on the Federal Government to make public, a document containing the names of Boko Haram sponsors reportedly secured by the military.

“In the light of a recent statement that the military recovered a document containing the names of Boko Haram sponsors, I call on the Federal Government to expose the sponsors now. I believe that such exposition will go a long way to enhance the fight against the Boko Haram sect and serve as a deterrent to others who might want to toe the same line,” he insisted.

The CAN President drew the attention of those citing reasons other than religion as the cause of the insurgency by Boko Haram to a recent statement by the leader of the sect, Alhaji Abubakar Shekau where he called on like-minded Islamists in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, urging friends of Nigeria, to join forces with the Federal Government in this struggle to save Christians from being exterminated.

“We call on our friends abroad to regard the statement by the Boko Haram leader as a Save-Our-Soul message before Christians in Nigeria are confined to only one part of the country. If this happens, Nigeria is heading for division. Therefore, Nigerians who believe that the reasons for the onslaught of Boko Haram on innocent Christians, their Churches and other Nigerians are linked to injustice, inequality and unemployment should remember that Nigeria belong to us all.

“Boko Haram is a part of a global network of terror. I call on the northern Muslim leaders to jettison regionalism, ethnicism and religion and to imbibe the culture of unity in diversity as the only true principle that can save Nigeria. Resorting to arm-twisting tactics can only shield the Boko Haram members and encourage them in their killing spree. This is a Jihad not inspired by pecuniary or unequal motives but one that is driven by fanatical and dogmatic religious ideology of doing away with Christianity in Nigeria.

“I plead with President Goodluck Jonathan not to allow the blood of our Reverend gentlemen and other Christians not to be allowed to atone for a cause that does not only make a mockery of what Amnesty stands for, but seems to suggest that the blood thirsty sect is on a legitimate and acceptable mission.

“I commiserate with the families of the deceased and pray to God to give them the fortitude to bear the losses. I call on all Christians in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to join me in prayers for peace, unity of Nigeria and an end to the insecurity in our land tomorrow, Friday, 31st of May, 2013,” he called.

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