Monday, February 7, 2011

Reactions from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)

Expectedly, the Northern CAN was one of the first groups to lament the bomb blasts. The body called “on every Christian in the North never again to watch helplessly, while these agents of Satan expand their network of terror on innocent citizens.” In a statement signed by the Northern CAN Chairman, Reverend Peter Jatau, and Secretary-General Elder Saidu Dogo, the body urged that the government must muster the courage to arrest all individuals and groups who are suspected to be involved in the acts. (Nigerian Compass, 30th Dec. 2010).
Reacting in a similar manner, the national body of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) observed, as reported by the Guardian, that “the explosions came so soon at a time of throwing political invectives by the country’s political actors in bids for political power. “ In a statement credited to her Secretary-General in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph Hayab, the CAN noted that “There is no smoke without fire and the cause and effect relationship between such comments must be investigated thoroughly.”
The CAN further observed that: “Common sense will dictate that with the heavy presence of both uniformed and plain security operatives in [Plateau] state such movement [of bomb materials] cannot go undetected. That it went ‘undetected’ means that there is some collusion between the security agents and the perpetrators….Security agencies must convince Nigerians that there is no security lapses or they are not shielding sacred cows.” Concluding, the CAN said: “And these explosions must be investigated and the culprits brought to book no matter how lowly or highly placed they may be.” (Guardian Dec 26)
In his personal statements, CAN national president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor called on the Christian community to remain calm to avoid playing into the hands of people who were out to destabilise the nation for their selfish designs. He spoke the obvious when “he alleged that certain powerful individuals in the society had perfected plans to destabilise the nation’s polity by provoking the Christian community to reaction and cause chaos and in the aftermath of the chaos make the country ungovernable.” Pastor Ayo said he was still making efforts to reach President Jonathan on how best to deal with the matter and assuage the victims of the bomb blasts by way of “adequate compensation.” Whatever that would mean!

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