Following reports of plans by the federal government to recruit repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the Nigerian Army and the Police, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Tuesday warned the federal government against such plan.
The reports said that the federal government had been brainstorming on possible ways of finally rehabilitating Boko Haram terrorists, who had been de-radicalised through the Operation Safe Corridor policy.
The Operation Safe Corridor overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) through Operation Lafiya Dole is geared towards rehabilitating repentant Boko Haram terrorists, including empowerment and other job opportunities.
But reaching to the purported plan, the CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, said CAN was visibly disturbed about the reports, saying if it is true, CAN condemns such a policy in strong term. CAN asked the federal government, especially security agencies, to withdraw that directive, which it said was capable of compromising the nation’s security system.
CAN also called on the federal government to caution the Adamawa State government against hasty implementation of the death sentence passed on five Christian youths, who were alleged to have killed a Fulani herdsman.
CAN added, “According to reports, Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of a High Court in Adamawa State, recently sentenced Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi to death for culpable homicide.
‘’The convicts were said to have allegedly on June 1, 2017, Adamun village in Demsa Local Government Area ‘willfully and intentionally conspired and attacked three herdsmen rearing cattle, killing one of them, Adamu Buba, whose body they threw into a river and also maimed several cows.
“While CAN is not supporting jungle justice or any criminality, but we note with regret how hundreds of our members in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Plateau states in the North-central geo-political zones, and a state like Enugu in the South, have been killed and are still being killed on a daily basis by some criminals parading themselves as Fulani herdsmen, but are yet to be apprehended.”
The CAN added that while citizens stood helpless at the massacre of their peaceful fellow Nigerians, the international community watched in anguish how government security agencies could not bring perpetrators of these heinous killings to book.
“We recall with sadness how President Donald Trump had expressed sadness over killings of Christians in Nigeria and even told President Muhammadu Buhari, when he recently visited the White House in Washington DC that the United States of America would no longer tolerate a situation where Christians are being killed with impunity”, CAN stated.
‘’He also stressed that despite the outrage that had trailed the killings of Christians in Nigeria, it is disheartening that none of the killers has been brought to justice. We are shocked at the speed of light deployed by security and judicial officers in sentencing the alleged killers of the herdsman in Adamawa state.’’
The Christian group added, ‘’Why did the court discharge the alleged killers of Madam Bridget Agbahime on the orders of the Kano State Government? Why have security officials not arrested those behind the killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, while those arrested for the murder of Mrs. Eunice Elisha Olawale in Kubwa, Abuja, have been set free by the Nigeria Police?’’
Asking President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the death sentence passed on these Christian youths in Adamawa, CAN said that it had called on its legal team to secure and study the text of the judgement with a view to preventing a miscarriage of justice and a future recurrence.