AMINA ANEBI, Kaduna
The Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has again expressed concerns over the incessant killings in the North, specifically targeting Christian Clerics.
The forum frawned over the attacks targeting christians, calling on the government to stop the onslaught by terrorists.
This was expressed in a statement signed by NOSCEF Chairman, Engineer Ejoga Oyinehi Inalegwu, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.
“Communities in Southern Kaduna and Niger State being the most affected. With the improved surveillance and deterrent measures being taken by the security forces in tackling the insecurity, we are surprised at the deteriorating situation arising in these areas,” the statement said.
NOSCEF called on the governments at the state and federal levels to give the security forces the needed support to sustain the push against the insurgency plaguing the nation, especially ahead of the 2023 elections, so that no section of the country is disenfranchised on grounds of insecurity.
“We were excited when politicians were able to make night visits to areas of hitherto high insecurity only to at the same time be greeted with sustained attacks against communities in Southern Kaduna at about the same time,” it stated.
The group urged parents to counsel their wards against making themselves available to be used as political thugs to cause violence during the coming elections.
“We urge Nigerians to disappoint politicians who in their desperate bid to win elections at all costs, are devising politics of exclusion in spite of the pleas of patriotic Nigerians.
“We plead with Nigerians to, with one voice, through the ballot box send the message that we reject those who believe that winning an election is more important than the harmonious existence of the nation,” NOSCEF said.
They added, “Remember that the massive money they are using to buy and make people compromise their conscience is our money.
“Whether you collect or don’t collect their ill-gotten money, be prepared to vote out those propagating politics of exclusion and make it unattractive for the future.”
The group therefore, urged all registered voters to collect their PVCs to be able to exercise their voting rights in the forthcoming election.
They extended condolences to the families of the Catholic priest that was killed and remains desecrated in Niger State on Sunday, as well as other victims from the attack and other recent attacks by bandits.
“Our hearts go out to the families of Rev. Father Achi who was burnt alive in Niger State, his assistant who was shot, the many killed recently in the Kagoro attacks, the 25 people kidnapped during church service yesterday January 15th. 2023 in Katsina State and a host of others in the recent past.
“We pray for comfort for the families of those killed, the Church and God’s intervention for those in the kidnapper’s dens and quick recovery for the injured,” they prayed.
NOSCEF used the opportunity to wish Nigerians a prosperous New Year and wish the country a peaceful election that will be a turning point to peace, harmony and prosperity in the year 2023.