By Tunde Johnson
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the Federal Government to caution the Adamawa State Government against hasty implementation of the death sentence passed on five Christian youths alleged to have killed a Fulani herdsman.
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, at Kadamun 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.’
A statement by Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant, Media and Communications to Samson Ayokunle, CAN President on Tuesday said 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 statement reads: “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.
“Despite the outrage that has 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.
“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?
“In view of the above, we are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the death sentence passed on these Christian youths in Adamawa. We have called on our legal team to secure and study the text of the judgment with a view to preventing a miscarriage of justice and a future re-occurence.
In a related development, CAN also expressed dismay at reports that the Federal Government has allegedly directed the Nigerian Army and Police to recruit some former members of Boko Haram terrorists who recently underwent de-radicalisation programme.
“If it is true, CAN condemns such a policy in strong terms and ask the Federal Government, especially security agencies, to withdraw that directive which is capable of compromising the nation’s security system.”