Against the backdrop of increasing security and economic challenges in Nigeria, following renewed attacks in Plateau State, especially Jos North and Bassa LGAs of Plateau State, the Chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) Plateau State Chapter, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo has urged Christians and all law abiding citizens of the state to go beyond prayers and explore their rights to self-defence in tackling insecurity in the country.
Speaking to newsmen at the Plateau Specialist Hospital where bodies of victims of last night’s attack at Yelwa Zangam village of Jos North LGA were deposited, the clergy disclosed that over 15 bodies were at the morgue and twenty-something others were roasted despite the curfew inplace and nobody is saying anything about it.
According to the CAN Chairman, “the security agencies have been doing their best, the STF has tried so much but it seems the insecurity has overwhelmed them even at the Federal level.
He mentioned that ” these occurrences and renewed spate of violence is as a result of the utterances of some Islamic clerics. I even called the GOC and the STF commander, asking them to bring these people to book. They said they were going to retaliate and this is the result we are seeing. I don’t know why they feel killing and retaliation is going to solve the problem but it must be made categorically clear that nobody has right over any other person’s life and everybody has a right to defend himself”.
He went further to disclose that “we are not going to tell any Christian to pick up arms and retaliate or kill anyone but at the same time, every Christian has the right to defend themselves”.
He decried the situated whereby some citizens are treated as first class citizens who are above the law while others are treated as if their lives doesn’t matter; reiterating that all lives are sacred irrespective of ethic or religious affiliation.
“When some Muslim faithful were killed at Rukuba road, the Federal Government quickly intervened. What is happening in Plateau State now is worse than that incident and so, the Federal Government must act swiftly” he said.
“Many people have been inciting others to pick up arms and go on reprisals, yet the government and security agencies are doing nothing about it. Look at what happened in Mangu and the Fulani man caught in Akwanga”.
“My advice to all Christians on the Plateau is to intensify our prayers but not with our eyes closed”.
“The Government should also know that we are tired of telling people to be patient and calm. We are tired of calling for restraint and waiting on government to handle the situation; only for the same thing to happen again.
He concluded that “when people are tired and decide to take the laws into their hands, nobody should blame us. Our only message now is that people should defend themselves”.