The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State, Reverend Joseph Hayab, has revealed that over the past four years, bandits have been responsible for the tragic loss of 23 pastors’ lives and the forced closure of 200 churches throughout the state.
During a meeting attended by pastors from various church denominations across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, Hayab disclosed this with the Commissioner of Police, Musa Garba.
“A Pastor who was kidnapped on 8th August 2023, told the CAN leadership that there are over 215 Christians abducted by the bandits in Birnin Gwani forest. They are still there and the Pastor told us that the bandits asked him to lead prayers for the 215 Christians while he was in their den.
“We are calling on the CP to look into this issue among many others holistically to build the confidence of the people once again.”
Rev. Dr. Yunusa Nmadu Jnr, the former Secretary-General of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), along with other pastors who addressed the meeting, emphasized the importance of holding pastors and imams accountable for engaging in hate sermons and speeches, and they urged the Commissioner to take appropriate action in this regard.
They also asked the police commissioner to look into cases of those selling hard drugs, adding that most of the criminal acts were committed under the influence of hard drugs.
Speaking at the meeting, the police chief in the state said criminality should be addressed as a criminal without profiling him or her as a Christian, Muslim or by their tribes or ethnicity.
According to Garba, “Security is the responsibility of all and not only that of the government. While the government takes the lead in the protection of lives and property, individuals are also expected to play their parts, particularly in the area of providing information.
“The meeting was basically to strengthen the relationship between the police and religious leaders and listen to their challenges and together foster possible solutions. The police force under my leadership in the state will do its very best in the discharge of our duties, We should all be our brothers keepers.
“Always reach out to security personnel around your communities with prompt information once you identify