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Bandits Target Churches, Pastors in Kaduna

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In an alarming disclosure, Rev Joseph Hayab, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State, revealed the grim reality the Christian community has grappled with in recent years.

Over just four years, bandits have ruthlessly claimed the lives of 23 pastors and forced the closure of approximately 200 churches across the state.

During an earnest discussion in Kaduna, pastoral representatives from the 23 local government areas convened with Commissioner of Police, CP Musa Garba, Hayab painted a chilling portrait of a community under siege. He recounted the harrowing narrative of a pastor kidnapped on August 8, 2023.

From the bandits’ lair in Birnin Gwani forest, this pastor conveyed that over 215 Christians remained captive, with the bandits demanding he lead prayers for the distressed captives.

According to a report by Vanguard,  Rev. Hayab implored the Commissioner of Police, emphasizing, “These concerns, among countless others, require urgent and comprehensive action. It’s imperative to rebuild the faith and trust of our people.”

Addressing another crucial concern, Rev. Dr. Yunusa Nmadu Jnr, the former Secretary-General of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) worldwide, and several other pastors emphasized the pressing need to hold religious leaders accountable.

They called upon the Commissioner to reprimand those religious figures, be they pastors or imams, found propagating hate sermons and divisive speeches.

Furthermore, a pressing concern that resonated during the meeting was the rampant sale and consumption of hard drugs. Many crimes, it was stressed, were committed under the veil of narcotic influence. The clergy unanimously implored the CP to crack down on this escalating menace.

CP Musa Garba, deeply moved by the accounts and requests, emphasized the secular nature of crime.

“Criminal acts transcend religious identities. A criminal remains a criminal, regardless of their religious or tribal affiliations,” he asserted.

Garba further articulated the collective responsibility that security embodies. While the government spearheads efforts to safeguard lives and properties, he emphasized the vital role of the community in aiding these initiatives, mainly through the provision of actionable intelligence. 

Highlighting the intent behind the gathering, he noted, “The essence of today’s dialogue aims at bolstering the bond between law enforcement and religious leaders. By understanding the unique challenges faced and fostering collaborative solutions, we hope to usher in a more secure tomorrow for Kaduna.”

Echoing the age-old maxim, he concluded, “Let us remember, in these trying times, to be our brother’s keeper.”

SourceVanguard

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