The Christian Association of Nigeria on Friday added its voice to the growing condemnation of the massacre of at least 78 rice farmers by the Boko Haram terrorists last Saturday in Zabarmari community in Borno State.

The association said mass burial without Nigeria being in a full-scale war was “unprecedented and unacceptable.”  

In a statement by Pastor Bayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the group noted that condolence visits after many souls had been wasted were unacceptable.

CAN said, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned in strong terms the killing of no fewer than 43 rice farmers in Borno State by unknown persons suspected to be terrorists. We call 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 North-East and North-West of the country.

“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 the terrorists and bandits are taxing farmers before they are allowed to work on their farms is unprecedented, and the government must stop it before it is too late. We are in a recession in the country, yet, criminals are still preventing farmers from going to the 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 the failure of governance. Mass burial without a full-scale war is unprecedented and unacceptable.”

The association noted that it was pained to observe that “killings and kidnapping of people are no longer news in the country, and no one is immune from it.”

While reassuring all that we at CAN will not give up praying for this nation, we urge the government to fulfil its responsibility of protecting lives and property.

“Sympathy through press statements or condolence visits after many souls have been wasted are not acceptable anymore. What we need is adequate protection of lives and property by those we have put in charge to do so,” the association noted.

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