The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned in strong terms the gruesome murder of Rev. Fr. John Cheitnum Four days after his abduction and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the masterminds are arrested and prosecuted.
Cheitnum was the Chairman of CAN in Jema’a local government area and the Coordinating Chairman of the body for Southern Kaduna until his demise. He was kidnapped with Rev. Fr. Donatus Cleophas (who later escaped) on July 15, from the Rectory of Christ the King Parish, Yadin Garu in Lere local government area of Kaduna State.
To say the least, this is cruel, inhuman, deliberately provocative, barbarism and condemnable. Unfortunately, we have a government that has failed to protect the lives and property of citizens and yet it will not ensure that these terrorists pay a heavy price for their evil actions. Ours is a government that lacks political will to put these criminals where they rightly believe. Instead, they are being recycled in the pretext of de-radicalising programme.
We recall with sadness and a sense of despair how terrorists murdered Lawan Andimi, the chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State. Till today, no one has been brought to justice for his gruesome murder. Instead, many Christians, including the clerics, are being abducted and killed while our security agencies look helpless.
This is unprecedented anywhere in the world. We don’t know when an end will come to these wicked acts and to worsen the situation, the same government that cannot protect us has failed to establish state police to compliment the obviously overstretched Federal Police. This is why many well meaning Nigerians, including some governors, are calling for self-defence to reduce the menace of insecurity challenges.
CAN commiserates with the immediate family of the slain Cheitnum, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria and pray for divine consolation and comfort. It is our prayers that never again will Nigeria be governed by a government that will be treating criminals with kid gloves.
Signed: Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola (General Secretary, CAN)