The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has tackled the Presidency over its reaction to the recent killing of 22 travelers in Jos, Plateau State.
Presidential Spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, had in a statement claimed that there was a religious motive behind the incident, saying it was a pre-arranged assault on the people of a particular faith.
But CAN, in a harsh statement, described comments by Shehu on the Jos attack as “provocative and unacceptable”, complaining that the Presidency was wrong in tagging the crime as religious.
The statement reads, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the killing of about 22 people in Plateau State and called on the President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to stop paying lip service to the unending killings in the country.
“Stopping killing of the innocents by the criminals cannot be done by mere issuing press statements and holding periodical meetings with the security chiefs by the President. Until the government shows the political will by arresting and bringing the culprits to book, the shedding of innocent blood will not cease.
“While we commiserate with the bereaved of the dastardly attack on those travelers, we were alarmed by the statement of President Buhari describing the motive behind the criminality as ‘religious persuasion.
“The reaction of the President is, to say the least, provocative, unacceptable and unjustifiable. The government shouldn’t be seen as being on the side of one religion against another. Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious affiliations.
“Once again, we repeat that the government was wrong in tagging the unlawful actions of the criminals as religious.
“While we are pained in our hearts for the callous killing of innocent people in buses, we are not impressed by the government’s comments which is divisive, religion wise.
“We charge the Federal government to fix the security challenges or throw in the towel. The Police and the military should be tasked to wake up to their responsibilities before these criminals turn the country into another Afghanistan.”