The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has expressed its deep concern over the prevailing economic hardship and the increasing security challenges across the country.
This was contained in a statement issued by the body and signed by its Secretary General, Elder Sunday Oibe and made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Friday.
The statement noted that ” the suffering in the country is becoming unbearable for ordinary Nigerians. The high cost of foodstuffs, transportation, goods and services has made life difficult for many Nigerians.
“The epileptic power supply has led to the collapse of many small businesses. The continued decline in the value of the naira and the seeming inability of the government to address the situation has completely weakened the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians.
“The situation is further compounded by escalating insecurity occasioned by rampant killings and kidnapping for ransom.
Government must take urgent steps to address the depressing economic and escalating security situation in the country.
Northern CAN also noted the rampaging activities of bandits in Plateau state and other parts of the country in recent times.
“We are saddened by the attacks by bandits in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau where many people were killed and several houses burnt barely a month after several communities in Barakin Ladi, Bokkos and the same Mangu, were raided by bandits resulting in the killings of over 300 people.
It said the government must do everything possible to stop the killings not only in Plateau but across the country.
These killings have continued because the perpetrators have never been brought to justice.
“We have continued to wonder why the government has not been able to hold anybody accountable for the mass killings going on in the country.
“Unless justice is done, by ensuring that the perpetrators and whoever are the sponsors are brought to book, all the peace talks may be mere rhetorics.
“Just when we thought banditry and kidnapping had been contained, it has resurfaced more daringly, especially, in Abuja, the nation’s capital which was hitherto considered a safe haven being the seat of power with all the security apparatus located there.
“The brutal killings of traditional rulers in Ekiti state Kwara states and the abduction of school children among others too numerous to mention is an indication that Nigeria is on the brink.
“These, notwithstanding, we commend our security agencies for their sacrifices and patriotism in ensuring that these criminal elements are flushed out. We urged them not to relent in their efforts to crush them.
“We advised that the security architecture be reviewed for effective and decisive action.
We called on governments at all levels to support our security agencies with all that is required to fight these criminals.
“We also called on Nigerians to cooperate with security personnel and pray for them as they confront these enemies of the nation.
Northern CAN also noted with concern, the inauguration of a security outfit by a tribal group, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore in Nasarawa state.
“We find the establishment of the security outfit by a group which SOME of its members are being accused of banditry and kidnapping across the country very disturbing.
“Northern CAN wishes to state in strong terms that allowing any ethnocultural group to set up a security outfit, is an invitation to anarchy
In the interest of peace and security, the government should not handle this issue with kid gloves.
“No ethnic group should be allowed to form an exclusive security outfit.
“Northern CAN also wish to comment on the plan relocation of the headquarters of the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) and some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from Abuja to Lagos.
“Since the announcement of the planned relocation, there has been so much noise from some individuals and groups who are opposed to the policy, especially, from the northern part of the country.
“Several individuals and groups in the north, particularly, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Northern Senators as well as several northern groups have been agitating against relocation.
“It is unfortunate that we introduce ethnic and regional sentiments in a harmless policy that is meant to streamline operations make the agencies more effective and reduce cost.
“We should learn to look at government policies from an objective point of view rather than from regional and tribal perspectives.
“We call on Nigerians to support the present administration to overcome the eight years of calamity and retrogression of the failed administration of former President Mohammadu Buhari.
“Northern CAN calls on President Bola Tinubu to settle down and squarely tackle these challenges so that Nigeria will bounce back. We call on Christians to continue to pray fervently for the country.