The killing of not fewer than 43 rice farmers in Borno State by unknown persons suspected to be terrorists has been condemned in strong terms by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Friday .
CAN called on the security agencies to stop the unending mass killings by the criminals who now operate with impunity all over the country but more devastatingly in the Northeast and Northwest of the country.
The religious body described the killings as shame and national disaster on the part of government.
It advised security agencies to as a matter of urgency wake up and their prolonged slumber and put an end to the killings without fear or favour.
A statement issued by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to the CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle said: “We are shocked, disturbed, saddened to learn that criminals suspected to be terrorists (but for which a terrorist group had claimed responsibilities) invaded the Garin Kwashebe community and murdered the innocent farmers while harvesting their products.
“As usual, the number of the deceased gruesomely murdered remains disputed by the Federal Government. To us at CAN, 43 was not only frightening but inexcusable by those who should have prevented it. The massacre was wicked and completely satanic.
“A situation where farmers are being taxed by the terrorists and bandits before they are allowed to work on their farms is unprecedented and it must be stopped by the government before it is too late. We are in a recession in the country, yet, criminals are still preventing farmers from going to farm to harvest. We are not aware of any country where similar lawlessness is taking place without being adequately checked.
“CAN calls on the security agencies to wake up from their prolonged slumber and save their image. The government is urged to think out of the box and take adequate steps to bring the terrorists to their knees rather than finding excuses to justify failure of governance. Mass burials without a full scale war is unprecedented and unacceptable.
“We are pained to observe that killings and kidnapping of people are no longer news in the country and no one is immune from it. Why should we be watching for a nation well situated by God to become a land that is swallowing its inhabitants?”
While reassuring all that CAN will not give up praying for the nation and giving pieces of advice to the government, it urged government: “that is supposed to be more decisive in taking far-reaching security steps to rise up and do it. Continuous sympathy through press statements or condolence visit after many souls have been been wasted is not acceptable anymore. What we need is adequate protection of lives and property by those we have put in charge to do so. May the Lord comfort the relatives of those who were killed and save our nation from total collapse in Jesus’ name.”