Kaduna Arch­bishop: Nige­ria at War with Fa­nat­ics, Kid­nap­pers, Ter­ror­ists

Says Chris­tians, Mus­lims not at war Warns po­lit­i­cal lead­ers against un­guided state­ments

THISDAY - - NEWS - John Shik­lam in Kaduna

The Catholic Arch­bishop of Kaduna State, Most Rev. Matthew Ndagoso yes­ter­day con­demned the ris­ing ac­tivi- ties of crim­i­nal el­e­ments in the coun­try, es­pe­cially in the North­ern, not­ing that Nige­ria “is at war with fa­nat­ics, kid­nap­pers, and ter­ror­ists.”

Ndagoso, also, warned all po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in Kaduna State against un­guided and dis­re­spect­ful state­ments, which ac­cord­ing to him, por­trayed them as sec­tional and bi­ased lead­ers.

He gave the warn­ing at the fu­neral ser­vice of the Agom Adara, Mr. Raphael Mai­wada held at St. John’s Catholic Church, Kachia, Kaduna yes­ter­day, lament­ing that crim­i­nals “are killing and maim­ing in­no­cent Nige­ri­ans and mak­ing ev­ery­where un­safe for cit­i­zens.”

The tra­di­tional ruler, who was abducted on Oc­to­ber 19 by gun­men on his way from Kaduna to his palace in Kachia, was later killed by the kid­nap­pers on Oc­to­ber 26, af­ter a N10 mil­lion ran­soms was said to have been paid to them.

At fu­neral ser­vice yes­ter­day, Ndagoso ob­served that the chal­lenges fac­ing Nige­ria, par­tic­u­larly the North, was due to the in­creas­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of fa­nat­ics, kid­nap­pers and ter­ror­ists, who had prac­ti­cally made ev­ery­where in­se­cure and un­safe.

He said, “Let me re­it­er­ate once again that the chal­lenge we have at hand in Nige­ria, es­pe­cially in the north­ern part, is not a war be­tween Chris­tians and Mus­lims. No. Chris­tians and Mus­lims are not at war with each other.

“Our coun­try, how­ever, is at war with fa­nat­ics, kid­nap­pers, ter­ror­ists and op­por­tunists who are crim­i­nals in ev­ery sense of the word, killing and maim­ing in­no­cent Nige­ri­ans re­gard­less of re­li­gion, eth­nic­ity and po­lit­i­cal lean­ings.”

He called on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment “to tackle the se­cu­rity prob­lems across the coun­try by in­vest­ing more in se­cu­rity in the se­cu­rity sec­tor. With­out se­cu­rity that will en­able the cit­i­zenry to move around freely to con­duct their daily busi­nesses, the roads, rail­ways, hos­pi­tals, schools etc that are built will be­come use­less.

On this note, the cleric ex­plained that those charged with the con­sti­tu­tional duty of pro­tect­ing and se­cur­ing lives and prop­erty should go af­ter the crim­i­nal el­e­ments.

Re­call­ing the bloody vi­o­lence that erupted in Kaduna, Ndagoso com­mended se­cu­rity agents in the state for their quick and prompt

in­ter­ven­tion on Oc­to­ber 21 and Fri­day morn­ing of Oc­to­ber 26 when Kaduna be­came tense fol­low­ing the ab­duc­tion and the killing of the tra­di­tional ruler.

He noted, “If not for that quick in­ter­ven­tion, the con­se­quences for all of us would have been bet­ter imag­ined. We are not obliv­i­ous of the enor­mous chal­lenges fac­ing them in these very dif­fi­cult and try­ing mo­ments. We know that very of­ten they put their lives on the line to make us safe. This said, I be­lieve that like ev­ery­thing else in life there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment.

The cleric urged se­cu­rity agents “to work harder, es­pe­cially in the area of in­tel­li­gence gather­ing, shar­ing and sur­veil­lance. There is much left to be de­sired in this re­gards.”

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