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CAN demands justice for murdered clerics, pastor

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Again, calls for overhaul of security architecture


Godsgift Onyedinefu


The leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the murder of two catholic clerics and a pastor by unknown gunmen on August 21, 2018, in Abuja and Kaduna respectively.

To this end, the umbrella Christian body called on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators are punished.

CAN in a statement by the Special Assistant Media and Communications to CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji on Tuesday, stressed the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the security system and ensure there are visible improvements on the security.

The association blamed the murder of the clerics on the state of Nigeria’s security situation which it described as “reprehensible, unacceptable and condemnable”.

CAN while commiserating with the bereaved family and churches, also called on Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies to do whatever possible to ensure the immediate release of one of the deceased wife, Talatu Akuchi, who was kidnapped by the gunmen.

Part of the statement read: “CAN notes with pains and disappointment the state of insecurity in the country, nowhere is safe and secured, as terrorists, rampaging Fulani herdsmen, killer bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and other hoodlums are operating unchecked while our security agencies are seemed busy with elections, forgetting that leaders are elected to rule over the living.

“The late Priest, Rev. Fr Michael Akawu, who was reportedly shot dead by yet to be identified gunmen in Gwagwalada, Abuja, was an Assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish, Dobi village near Gwagwalada.

“Few hours later, on Sunday, 21st August, 2018, at about 1.00am, according to informed sources, some hoodlums suspected to be Fulani terrorists attacked Nasara Baptist Church in Guguwa near Rigasa in Kaduna shot Rev. Hosea Akuchi dead and took away his wife Talatu Akuchi.

“Her whereabouts remain unknown and the criminals have demanded for the sum of N5m Five Million Naira for her release.

“Akawu, who was ordained priest on February 4, 2017 by the Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Revd. John Cardinal Onayeikan was the first FCT indigenous Catholic priest to be ordained.

“We call on our security agencies to be more pro-active and invest more on intelligence gathering with a view to preventing many of these crimes that are being committed before their watches undetected.

“We once again called on the Police to arrest all assailants that are responsible for these dastardly acts. We don’t need foreign countries to tell us that it is the failure to arrest these hoodlums amidst us that has emboldened them to perpetrate their atrocities. Enough of these senseless killings in the country.”

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