NEWS: Bandits Write Christians In Zamfara To Shut Down Churches Or Risk Attacks

The Zamfara State police command has confirmed the threat to SaharaReporters, saying, “We are on top of the threat.”

A group of bandits has written to the Christian community in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria to close churches or risk ferocious attacks, SaharaReporters has exclusively learnt.

The Zamfara State police command has confirmed the threat to SaharaReporters, saying, “We are on top of the threat.”

Spokesperson for the command, DSP Mohammed Shehu, told our correspondent that the police were aware of the threat letter.

He said, “Yes, I can confirm that it’s true, a threat letter was sent to the Christians in Zamfara State to stop worship and to close churches.

“Actually the police informed the Christian leaders about the threat.

“Accordingly the CP has invited the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to discuss security measures around the churches.

“In that regard, a special squad has been created by the CP to patrol and protect worshippers, especially on Sundays.

“Additionally, plain-clothes personnel have been deployed for intelligence gathering and to unravel those behind the threat letter,” he said.

On Sunday, a Christian leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, had requested prayers from Christians around the world in respect to their plight in Zamfara and other parts of northern Nigeria.

He said, “Let’s pray for Christians in Northern Nigeria, especially in Zamfara State as we are issued a three-year ultimatum to close all churches in the state.

“Some churches were listed for attack between now and the end of December, though the churches that would be attacked according to the Fulani group that wrote the letter are located on the outskirts of the town, but we believe it’s just a trick.

“Same letter was also copied to the Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies and they all Confirmed receipt of the letter.

“The police in the state have directed Christians to intensify security in all places of worship, pastors’ houses, other Christian centres.

“Christian Association Nigeria (CAN) in Zamfara State has also directed all churches not to hold church activities beyond 5pm for the next three months,” he said.

As things stand, some Christians are contemplating leaving Zamfara State for safer areas.

The Christian Association of Nigeria likewise calls on the government to effectively speed-up their plans in tackling insecurity in the Nation, as it is now depriving Christians in Zamfara their freedom of worship and fellowship.

Culled from SaharaReporters

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COMMUNIQUE: RESOLUTIONS AT CAN’S 4TH QUARTERLY NEC MEETING

COMMUNIQUE OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) AT THE END OF THE 4TH QUARTERLY MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2021 AT THE NATIONAL ECUMENICAL CENTRE, ABUJA.

The 4th quarterly meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was held at the National Christian Centre Abuja on Thursday, 11th November, 2021 under the chairmanship of the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle. In attendance were the other members of CAN national Executive, heads of the five Blocs of CAN, delegates from the Blocs, chairperson of the Women Wing (WOWICAN) and Youth Wing (YOWICAN) of CAN and other prominent Christian leaders in Nigeria.  During the NEC meeting, the Council deliberated on many issues affecting the Body of Christ in Nigeria and the well-being of Nigerians in general. Notable among these issues are:

1. The National Executive Council appreciates the recent efforts of the Security agencies for the prompt action taken to rescue the Staff Members of the Federal University of Abuja who were recently kidnapped. However, it admonishes the Federal Government and Security Agencies to be more proactive to stop with immediate effect, the spate of kidnapping in the country especially in Kaduna State where kidnapping is now almost a daily occurrence. CAN challenges the Security Agencies to respond quickly to distress calls and protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. It further calls on the Federal Government to do all it can to release the abducted innocent people in captivity unconditionally without further loss of lives.

2. On the need  for prompt action by security Agencies, CAN also wishes to advise the Federal, States and Local Government Areas to immediately initiate  an all inclusive security dialogue with all stakeholders. This  will help towards finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.

3. CAN enjoins the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to be consistent about the information it puts on its website. It particularly noticed that the telephone numbers on its website are not functioning. It should do all it takes to help educate and constantly update Nigerians about the challenges of COVID-19 and the availability or otherwise of COVID vaccines.  

4. CAN advises the Federal Government to put in place a better administration of the QR Barcode reader payment required for returning to Nigeria from overseas. A situation where Nigerians are subjected to intimidations abroad because of the negligence of duty of the officials is very embarrassing. Also, the ugly practice by some Government officials extorting money from citizens coming back home without remitting same to government coffers must be checked.

5. CAN acknowledges the resilience of Nigerians in view of the prevailing economic hardships and insecurities in the country and advises the Federal Government to not worsen the situation with increasing electricity tariffs, prices of cooking gas, and merely allocating funds for maintenance of roads without corresponding visible impacts.

6. CAN wants the general public to know that it now has a new (amended) constitution which was adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the CAN President on 25th February 2021. It therefore, calls on the Christian faithful to get themselves acquainted with the provisions of the new constitution. It also admonishes believers to take ownership of the Association so as to appreciate the workings and operations of CAN.

7. As the nation prepares for the electioneering campaigns towards the 2023 General Elections, CAN urges all Christians and citizens that are of age to without delay take advantage of INEC’s re-validation of voters’ cards exercise and register to get  their voters’ cards. Politicians should conduct themselves in a manner that will bring peace and unity. Youths should not allow any selfish office seeker to use them to cause violence before, during and after the politicking exercise.

8.  CAN prays for the Government and people of Nigeria.

9. As we approach Christmas and the New year, CAN commits Nigeria to the hands of God and wishes all of us a wonderful celebration in advance. 

Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola  (General Secretary CAN.)

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GORONYO MARKET ATTACK: CAN COMMISERATES WITH SULTAN, SOKOTO GOVERNMENT

We join the Sultan and Governor Aminu Tambuwal in appealing to the Federal Government to deploy more troops to the state to stop these criminals and their criminalities.

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Insecurity: CAN Declares 3-Day Fasting, Prayer for Nigeria

“the leadership of the association is concerned about the various killings, banditry, terrorism, and other problems facing the country, Hence there is a need for important prayers to be offered to God”.

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