President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, has said the killings in the North is an indication that the battle is “not yet won.”
He claimed the Zamfara State government and community leaders in the state allowed the crisis to fester without nipping it in the bud.
The Christian leader, who was in Maiduguri, Borno State, to assess the devastation caused by the insurgents in the North-East, insisted that the country needs help to come out of the conflict.
He also stated that people deserve to return to their place of habitat, instead of being Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“There is no reason to deceive ourselves, it is not over yet; the battle is not won yet and we need to know that the end is in sight if we don’t give up.
“As long as you continue to see IDPs, it means that we have not reached the end of the matter, people ought to go back to their places of residence where they were born where they have their means of living.”
The CAN president revealed that the body has embarked on several advocacy meetings to seek support and collaborations from the international community to end insurgency in the country.
Ayokunle also alleged complicity on the part of community leaders and government for allowing the killings in Zamfara to last this long.
“I am advocating that the leaders of the communities and the agents of the government be sincere enough and be patriotic beyond economic returns to expose the unscrupulous elements within the community so that the rest might be able to live their lives, fulfil their dreams because they don’t have two lives to live.”
In his response, Governor AbdulAzeez Yari’s Special Adviser on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Ibrahim Dosara said Ayokunle, as a religious leader, should rather offer the state government positive ideas on how to resolve the crisis and end the violence.
Said Dosara: “In the first instance, we are grateful that Christians are safe in Zamfara. As a religious leader, ge us expected to contribute his ideas in ending the violence. Security is everybody’s business.
“As a religious leader, he can contribute in taming the crisis, rather than criticising the state government. Government has been doing everything possible to resolve the crisis…he should be aware of government’s efforts in that regard.”