Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday promised that kidnapping, banditry and insecurity generally would soon become things of the past as Nigeria would soon triumph over them.
This is coming as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, has disclosed that four pastors have been killed, while 18 others were kidnapped since the banditry began in the state in the last five years.
Osinbajo was Special Guest of Honour at a one-day peace and security summit, organised by Kaduna State chapter of CAN, which held at ECWA Goodnews church, Narayi, Kaduna.
The theme of the summit was entitled, “Nigeria’s Insecurity: The church’s response in the 21st century”.
The Vice President said Nigeria’s socio-economic problems were like that of a woman in a labour room, saying after much pains, there will be celebration by the people when they eventually overcome the hardship.
The Vice President who was represented by the Chaplain, Villa, Pastor Joseph Oluseyi Malomo at the summit,said “we all desired a nation devoid of any form of kidnapping and terrorism.We have heard prophecies of a shining Nigeria, we are longing for the day those prophecies will come to reality. We need to fight the fight of faith because God’s plan for the greatness of Nigeria has not changed, it will surely come. We need to pray for Nigeria.”
“Many are weighed down because of problems they are going through, we must as Christians keep the Altars of God burning with prayers to overcome these problems.
“We must keep faith and see the problems we are going through as bread. God will take us to the promise land of a great nation with great values. We must reject politics of identity and ethnicity. Nigeria is going to be a shining nation, and insecurity will soon end,” he said.
A leader from the Middle Belt and Professor of Theology and social ethics, Prof. Yusuf Turaki, in his remarks on the occasion, alleged that government knew the kidnappers, bandits and other criminal elements in Nigeria.
Turaki who was the keynote speaker, said violence has taken over the country to the extent that every segment of the society was overwhelmed by violence.
He disagreed with politicians who are blaming killings in middle belt on farmers/herders clash, saying it was a deceptive narrative to motives of ” a repetition of Sokoto jihadists war.”
“These are Foreign Fulani who have been allowed to enter Nigeria so that they could help their brothers in Nigeria to kill innocent citizens and wreak havoc on our ancestral lands.These Fulani occupy the lands, carrying AK-47, killing people, destroying communities in the Middle Belt and other parts of the country. And the government knows them, government pays them to destroy ancestral lands. Politicians know the bandits that enter Nigeria, but they will not tell us.”
“Politicians have devised a wrong narrative that is deceptive, saying it is farmers/herders clash in middle belt, if it is clash, how comes Fulani are carrying AK-47 to kill the people. Nigeria is well blessed with intelligent people but they cannot up till today solve insecurity in the country. Something terrible has befallen our country. God, open the mouths of the people, let them speak the truth and die for the truth.”
“What the Fulani are doing now is exactly what Sokoto jihadists did in those old days. They kidnapped and asked people to pay ransom in those days. If you cannot pay, they sold you into slavery or kill you. So, kidnapping is not different from what happened during the Sokoto jihadists’ war. They captured infidels. It is being repeated now in Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the CAN, Kaduna state chapter, Rev Joseph Hayab said four pastors were killed, while 18 pastors were kidnapped since the banditry began in the state in the last five years .
He said that in 2019, CAN published records of kidnappings where it recorded a total of over 500 Christians who had been kidnapped.
”On record, CAN had about 18 pastors kidnapped with four of them killed. Past. Jeremiah Omolara – Living Faith Church, Romi New Extension, Rev. Iliya Anto – Former Vice President of HEKAN Church, Rev. Fr. John Bako Shekwolo – St. Theresa Catholic Church, Ankwa, Kachia Local Government Area and Rev. Hosea Akuchi – Nasara Baptist Church, Guru were killed.”