- Category: National Security
- Published on Thursday, 29 December 2011 11:40
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 624
Nigerian Christians will have "no other option" but to defend themselves if attacks by Islamist militants continue, church leaders have said.
"The consensus is that the Christian community nationwide will be left with no other option than to respond appropriately if there are any further attacks on our members, churches and property," said Ayo Oritsejafor, the president of CAN while speaking at the St Theresa Church outside the capital, Abuja, where 35 people died in the Christmas Day bombings.
He said the attacks were "considered as a declaration of war on Christians and Nigeria as an entity," and that while he did not want to encourage acts of revenge, "Christians should protect themselves... in any way they can".
Mr Oritsejafor said the lack of response by Muslim leaders was an "abdication of their responsibilities", and that the Christian community was also "fast losing confidence in government's ability to protect our rights".
Since then, some 90,000 people have fled their homes amid clashes between Boko Haram and police in Damaturu.
Earlier on Wednesday, six children and an adult were injured when a homemade bomb was thrown into an Islamic school in the southern Delta state.
A police spokesman said the bomb had been thrown from a moving car - it was not clear who was behind the attack, which has raised fears of retaliatory vigilante strikes.
Also, CAN in the South-east geopolitical zone, yesterday condemned the recent bomb blasts across the Northern Nigeria.
In a press statement, the Secretary General of the association, Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa called on President Goodluck Jonathan and security agencies to respond swiftly to the security challenges facing the nation and warned that if such was not done, Christians and other religious groups would be left with no other option than to carry out reprisal attacks on the Islamic sect.
He stressed that the incessant killing of innocent lives, especially Christians across the nation must stop, adding that the association would no longer fold its arms and watch some group of miscreants unleash mayhem on Nigerians. According to the CAN secretary, the impact and consequences of the myriads of bomb blasts in different states do not portray Nigeria in a good light, especially in the league of nations.
“We condemn the bombing on the Xmas day and call for government’s quick intervention to avoid reprisal attacks. We are not happy over the incessant bombings by Boko Haram sect.“CAN South-east zone will not continue to watch our members die like goats every day. We call on the government of President Good luck Jonathan to act fast, else, we shall defend ourselves by ourselves.
Boko Haram: Timeline of terror
- 2002: Founded
- 2009: Hundreds killed when Maiduguri police stations stormed
- 2009: Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf captured by army, handed to police, later found dead
- Sep 2010: Freed hundreds of prisoners from Maiduguri jail
- Dec 2010: Bombed Jos, killing 80; blamed for New Year's Eve attack on Abuja barracks
- 2010-2011: Dozens killed in Maiduguri shootings
- Nov 2011: Co-ordinated bomb and gun attacks in Yobe and Borno states
- Dec 2011: Series of bomb attacks on Christmas Day kills dozens