The President of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, on Saturday said the incessant attacks on Christians and Southerners in the Northern Part of the country by the violent Boko Haram were an ‘express invitation to civil war.’
Addressing the press in Abuja during an emergency meeting of the Executive members and heads of churches in Nigeria, Oritsejafor asked Christians to defend themselves and take necessary security measures to prevent further attacks.
The CAN president also blamed Northern Governors and leaders for the terrorist attacks against innocent Nigerians, accusing them of not doing what they were supposed to do to protect the lives and property of the people in their states.
According to him, “We therefore as Christians decided to take our fate in our hands, and has resolved as follows: We have decided to work out means to defend ourselves against this senseless killing and Christian faithful should continue in prayers and be security conscious”
“I don’t ask them to carry arms but we have the legitimate right to defend ourselves. We will do whatever it takes. We are working things out within ourselves; we are not obligated to tell you what we are working out, but let us wait and see.
“Declaring state of emergency in some local governments obviously has not done any good. Definitely we are going to do what we have to do to protect ourselves. We cannot sit back and watch people being slaughtered like animals every day. This is unacceptable.
“We therefore as Christians have decided to take our fate in to our hands and have resolved as follows: that we have decided to work out means to defend ourselves against these senseless killings; all Christians should continue in prayer and be security conscious.
“We consider the inaction of governors of these states to be unsatisfactory; we hold them responsible for the heinous killing of people taking place in their states; we will not take it lightly. From the report we have received, a lot of our leaders even approached some traditional leaders but they refused to listen.
“We don’t accept this and we believe that if Nigeria is for us all, then wherever you are as a Nigerian in any part of this country, you must be treated as a Nigerian, so we are holding the governors of such states for the killings.”
He added: “We draw attention to the fact that CAN and Christians in this country have exercised patience and continue to do so at great expense; we have continued to call on Security agencies and political office holders to assist us in stopping this senseless killings to no avail.”