The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) has described as ‘troubling’ the recent attacks in some communities of Plateau State and Southern Kaduna, primarily targeting Christians, their communities, and their worship places.
following the recent development, COCIN has urged Christians in such communities to defend themselves within the ambit of the law, reminding them to be vigilant of unscrupulous movements.
The Church also said the renewed attacks on communities pose a serious threat to peaceful co-existence amongst the citizenry, hence the need for urgent action by relevant authorities.
This is according to the President of COCIN, Rev. Amos Mohzo, during the Church’s 103rd General Church Council meeting at its headquarters in Jos the Plateau State Capital.
Mohzo said, “It is with deep concern that I address the issue of insecurity in our beloved nation. The incessant killings, kidnappings, and destruction of lives and property by terrorists in communities across Nigeria, particularly in Southern Kaduna, Bokkos, Mangu, Gindiri, Panyam, Barkin Ladi, Riyom, in Plateau State, and other states, are a source of great distress for all of us.
“It is particularly troubling that these attacks primarily aim at Christians, their communities, and their worship places. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or any other factor.
“Our hope has been dashed with the recent attack on some communities in Mangu Local Government, where many innocent citizens were brutally butchered and churches/houses burnt to ashes.
According to him, “This is a calculated attack, and we condemn it in its totality. While we appreciate the efforts of the security operatives on the Plateau, we call upon the Federal Government to intervene immediately.
“This re-emergence of attacks on our communities has posed a serious concern to our peaceful co-existence on the Plateau, and urgent action must be taken to address this issue.
“I urge the Christian communities not to relent in self-defence within the ambit of the law and be vigilant of unscrupulous movements, he maintained.
“Some groups of people have declared war of genocide on us, and they have eaten deep into our communities.
“The way forward is for the government to take decisive action to end these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice”,
“I have appealed to the government at some fora to take decisive steps. The security forces must be adequately equipped and trained to deal with the threat posed by these terrorists. Intelligence gathering and sharing must also be improved to prevent attacks before they occur.
“Furthermore, the government must address the root causes of these attacks, including the issue of land grabbing by Fulani terrorists, and take steps to ensure peaceful coexistence between all Nigerian communities despite religious differences”, Mohzo appealed.
He advised citizens to be vigilant, by reporting suspicious activities to the authorities, and promoting peaceful coexistence in their various communities.
“As we apply our theme for the year, ‘Seeking the Peace of the Land’ Jeremiah 29:7. We must work together as a nation to address this issue and ensure that Nigeria is a safe and secure place for all its citizens.
“I appeal to this General Church Council to resolve to set apart three days (2nd to 4th June 2023) for fasting and prayers throughout the denomination against the incessant killings and destruction of property in the North and Plateau State in particular.
“If this council accepts this submission, the Vice President and the General Secretary should prepare a program for the three days.
“As a denomination, we are affected mainly by the Fulani terrorists’ attacks and land grabbing. This is the time to seek the face of God to intervene”, he stressed.