Boko Haram/ISWAP: Christian group sends strong message to CAN, opposition parties

The United Christian Forum of Nigeria (UCFN), a group of Christian elders, has cautioned opposition leaders and leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against making statements that would rather serve as a boost to the Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgents.

The group made the call on Monday in Lagos while addressing newsmen, in reaction to the recent insurgence attacks and killing of Nigerians in North East and the position taken by the leadership of CAN and the opposition parties on the development.

This was just as it further called on CAN leadership to stop playing what it termed “the religious card” to sow the seed of discord, disunity and inflame passions of hate and violence in Nigeria.

Secretary-General of UCFN, Oyekanmi Rafael, while expressing worries over the direction, wording and choice of language used by CAN and opposition leaders, said engaging in issuing such statements and playing religious card could help insurgents achieve the aim of creating unrest in the country.

“We proclaim that these ugly, sad, condemnable and unacceptable flashes of armed criminalities in our nation are assuming dimensions of polarising us along ethnic and religious lines, based on reckless sentiments applied to their interpretations.

“UCFN is most astounded with the recent reaction of the national secretariat of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the umbrella body of all Christians in Nigeria in a public statement over the unfortunate abduction and murder of the CAN chairman of Michika LGA in Adamawa State, Pastor Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram/ISWAP; the cold-blooded killing of a Lutheran clergy, Pastor Denis Bagauri by unknown assassins and the December 2019 abduction and beheading of 11 Christians captured in Northern Nigeria by terrorists.

“These tragic incidents are regrettable and places our once peaceful country on the precipice of implosion. We commiserate with Mr President, the families of all Christian martyrs, Muslims and Nigerians over the irreparable losses. May Almighty God grant them peaceful rest in his bosom and eternal damnation to the devil-incensed killers,” UCFN Secretary-General said.

However, Rafael noted that as much as these incidents were painful and near inconsolable especially to the families of those who were killed, there was cause for leaders at whatever level as individuals to observe restraint in the sentimental interpretations.

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