Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "We are surprised by the news reported by some newspapers according to which governor Nasir el-Rufai has threatened to deploy foreign mercenaries if the federal government fails to fight banditry and put an end to terrorism" said Reverend John Joseph Hayab, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN, a body that brings together the country's main Christian denominations) in Kaduna, the state in northern Nigeria, where episodes of violence have multiplied in recent weeks, including the kidnapping of two Catholic priests (see Fides, 28/3/2022). Following the March 28 attack on the train on the Abuja-Kaduna line (see Fides 30/3/2022), the governor of the state of Kaduna, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, threatened to recruit foreign mercenaries to fight terrorists if the federal government does not guarantee the safety of its citizens. At least eight people died in the attack, while another 168 more remain unaccounted for.
"While CAN agrees that terrorists have had a field day, CAN reckon that if any other Nigerian had made or muted such an idea in public space, such would have been accused or arrested by the government for undermining the security agencies and the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces", says Reverend Hayab. "Accordingly, CAN doubts if any section of the Nigerian Constitution allows any officeholder, other than the Commander in Chief, to invite foreign fighters into the Country".
"CAN acknowledge that what Nigeria needs currently is a sincerity of purpose from all stakeholders and the citizenry towards finding lasting solutions, not subjective statements that could further heighten the presence of bandits in Nigeria. CAN will continue to pray and urge citizens to be on the watch against any erroneous direction that could do this country no good but harm", concludes the President of CAN in Kaduna. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/4/2022)