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CAN warns FG: Stop taking side, end killings by herdsmen

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has warned the Federal Government to stop taking sides with the herdsmen on rampage, killing and maiming in some parts of the country.

This, the body said, was one of the steps that could stem the spate of killings by herdsmen.

CAN, in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and signed by the chairman and secretary of its Adamawa State chapter, Most Rev. (Dr) Stephen Dami Mamza, and Rev. Anthony Elishama respectively, gave the warning on Wednesday.

The association said it was compelled to give the warning following the unceasing killings and the obvious refusal of the security agencies in the country to act because the killers were the president’s kinsmen.

Other suggestions by the group to put an end to the spate of killings include ensuring security of lives and property; the establishment of a new military barracks and ensuring justice and fairness.

The association also demanded for the provision of medical care for Internally Displaced Persons and provision of shelter for IDPs.

The letter reads in full:


Mr. President, greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), wishes to convey her grievance as a result of the mindless massacre of farming communities by arms wielding Herdsmen.   

CAN is constrained to take this action as the killings have continued with reckless abandon, more so that perpetrators of the killings appear to be above the laws of the land. CAN is deeply disturbed that these killings are revolving mostly within and around agrarian communities in their own lands.

As Mr. President may be well aware that there is hardly a day or two that there is no major raid or two taking place; leaving scores of local people across several communities dead with properties worth millions of Naira destroyed. These spate of killings by the invaders are still ongoing even as we have ceaselessly been calling for security protection without receiving the appropriate protection.

What is glaring to us as a community of peaceful and law abiding citizens is that the incessant attacks tinge a suspected ethno-religious cleansing, and the president must act fast to prevent it; or at best, neo-colonization. Further still, CAN is worried by the seeming conspiracy of silence, especially among critical security stakeholders on these killings. We have it on good authority that often government officials detest when journalists broadcast news of herdsmen killings. 

Your Excellency, as a religious body, we must confront issues with the truth; no matter whose ox is gored. Therefore, be informed in all honesty, that Nigeria under your leadership is more divided than at any time in our history.

While Adamawa State CAN does not share in the view that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is supporting the killings, we however hold strong reservations about the President’s docile posture while killings rage. Just as the President’s body-language may sway us to lean towards the perception which suggests that security operatives are not decisive on the herdsmen menace because they are Mr. President’s kith and kin.

We implore you yet again to look into our matter and act with immediate deployment and order to the military to stop these terrorists so that posterity will be kind on you. We demand the following:

Security of Lives and Property: The killings and invasions should stop

Establishment of a New Military Barracks: We need the establishment of a New Military Formation along the Numan – Lau axis and the deployment of Special Forces to Adamawa as you deployed to Zamfara State two days ago.

Justice and Fairness: Government should stop taking sides by being just and fair.

Provision of Medical Care for IDPs: There should be provision of Food and Healthcare to affected communities

Provision of Shelter for IDPs: There should be reconstruction and rebuilding of destroyed infrastructure in the affected communities.

Sir, we demand justice; we demand an end to killings in our state and the country at large. While we await positive action, we pray God almighty to give you the grace, good health and strength to do the needful. Thank you and God bless you!

Most Rev. (Dr) Stephen Dami Mamza


Rev. Anthony Elishama



About Lanre Oyetade

A multiple award winner in Economics and business journalism, Lanre Oyetade has served close to two decades in the media industry, spanning different notable stables, where he is privileged to have risen to the position of a title editor. A masters degree holder in Economics from the University of Lagos and doctoral student at the Babcock University, he is a winner of the prestigious NMMA Capital Market Award for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005), and was also a nominee for the body’s banking and finance and money market awards for two years. In 2013, he also won the Most Outstanding Business-Reporting Title Editor award of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). A minister in the LORDS’s vineyard, he has been an inspirational speaker and resource person at many corporate and religious fora since early 2004, and has so far authored three books on the capital market; on personal effectiveness, and on personal finance, in 2008 and 2014, respectively.