I don’t who who the past president of CAN was, but I think this man was elected for such a time as this. Talk about fearlessness! The man is on a roll!!
From Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), came a bombshell yesterday when he described Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as spokesman of the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram. The venue of his outburst was Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where he briefed the media on the resolutions of the CAN’s extra-ordinary council meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC). Pastor Oritsejafor said that for Tukur, leader of the biggest party in Africa to have justified Boko Haram’s activities as a fight for justice showed that many leaders in Nigeria were active supporters of the sect. CAN president wondered the kind of justice Boko Haram was fighting for when even the Federal Government had paid the family of their slain Mohammed Yusuf, N100 million, claimed as damages for the assumed extra-judicial killing of the sect leader.
“But thousands of Christians are being killed. I know of Pastor Ojeh, from Benue State whom he alleged Yusuf personally killed for refusing to cite some verses of the Quran in Maiduguri. We had since evacuated the widow and three children and paid rent for them in another state. Every Christmas, we would send food and money to them. Who has compensated that family till now; so, what is justice in the eyes of Bamanga Tukur?” Oritsejafor asked. On the resolutions of the NEC meeting, the CAN president said; “NEC observed the sporadic shootings, incessant killings of Christians, the bombing of churches, silent killings, slaughtering and the silent disposal of corpses of those killed have continued. NEC members believe that contrary to the orchestrated reasons of poverty and injustice, by some Muslim leaders in the North, Boko Haram had been masterminding the series of bomb and gun attacks which are primarily targeted at Christians in its bid to exterminate all forms of Western education and enthrone the Islamic law of Sharia as the universal law in Nigeria. “The NEC of CAN observes that the total number of people killed by the sect members is far more than it is reported in the media and the sequence of fatal attacks and silent killings present a grim picture of the trauma of Christians in the North. According to the figures presented at the meeting, the 300 deaths recorded in March went up to about 500 in April and by yesterday, May 23, the figure has hit over 1,000 with more number of injured Christians.” Pastor Oritsejafor said both government and security agencies need to do more to contain the senseless killings and that government should seriously consider Boko Haram as a terrorist group, even as NEC urged the government to mobilize human and financial resources in its fight against the sect. While reiterating the call for prayers and fasting by all Christians on June 16, NEC asked all CAN blocs to be united and begin to speak with one voice at these difficult times. On corruption, the CAN president said it was the observation by NEC that “virtually all sectors of the economy are riddled with cases of corruption and that government management of the fight against corruption is still cosmetic. He urged the government “not to behave like a man who stepped into a pitch dark room, straining his eyes to catch a reflection of the smile on his face in a mirror. It should switch on the light in the room or step out into the light. At the same time, NEC calls on the government to accelerate its efforts at reducing poverty and social injustice in the country.”
Efforts to obtain Tukur’s reaction were futile as his Personal Assistant, Suleiman Saheed, told Daily Sun that Alhaji Tukur was in a meeting. “Please, Baba cannot attend to you now, because he is in a meeting.” But the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, claimed that newsmen misquoted Tukur. “ He never said anything of such. He has a lot of Christians as friends; he is a God-fearing man and he has spoken several times against violence and Boko Haram. For the Press to have reported him like that is a disservice. “The party will not join issues with the CAN president, but we crave for understanding. The party chairman never said any such thing.”