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Boko Haram may consume Nigerian leaders -COCIN president •Sect killed 308 in 118 attacks -FG

ICC Note:

President of the Church of Christ in Nigeria warns that Nigeria is “facing a Jihad, targeted at eliminating Christians and Christianity.”

by Isaac Shobayo, Chris Agbambu, Clement Idoko and Christian Okeke

05/16/2012 Nigeria (NigerianTribune)-PRESIDENT of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Reverend (Dr) Soja Joseph Bewarang, has accused those in leadership positions of treating the Boko Haram insugence with kid gloves, warning that if the leaders fail to curtail the terrorists, they may end up being consumed by them.

Reverend Bewarang gave the warning while delivering his address at the opening of the General Church Council meeting of the church held at the COCIN headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.

According to him, the country’s leaders were more interested in using their privileged positions to better their lot and in the process neglected the common man and the need to tackle once and for all the act of terrorism that has bedevilled the society, particularly Christian communities in the northern part of the country.

He said if those in leadership position allowed the trend of insecurity to continue, the rampaging terrorists would not spare them and allow them to enjoy their accumulated wealth.

The COCIN president said the country was facing a Jihad, targeted at eliminating Christians and Christianity, adding that the act was becoming bolder by the day because of the well-planned denial and excuses of those who should curb the terrorists’ activities.

He, however, said despite the insecurity and frequent attacks, the church would march on because Jesus Christ is building His church and all gates of hell in any disguise will not prevail against it.

He said the church was equally concerned about the role of military personnel in handling security situations in Plateau State, adding that the situation had become so unpredictable that everybody lived in fear.

He said until those in leadership positions put their heads together, the leaders would soon be leaders of no people, adding that the church was more concerned that the attacks were coming at a time when people were expected to be cultivating and planting.

The highlight of the programme was the inauguration of eight committees for the smooth running of the church and the Karl Kun University. The 82 members of the committees who were drawn from all walks of life, included the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Serah Ochekpe; Senator Joshua Dariye and former secretary to the Plateau State government and Managing Director of Jos Business School, Nde Ezekiel Gomos. One-time COCIN president, Dr (Rev) Musa Gotom, who responded on behalf of others, promised to serve the church diligently.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government, on Tuesday, disclosed that no fewer than 308 persons have been killed predominantly in the northern states of the country since the Boko Haram insurgency began, even as the impact of insecurity bites harder.

Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (retd), made this known in Abuja at the ongoing ministerial platform to mark the 2012 National Democracy Day and first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

He said the victims lost their lives in about 118 attacks carried out by the sect in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Niger, Yobe, Plateau states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while about 33 suspects were arrested. The latest in Abuja was the suicide attack on the Abuja headquarters of ThisDay newspaper.

Expressing concern about the growing insecurity in the country, Olubolade, however, assured that the Nigeria police had the capacity to sustain the nation’s nascent democracy.

According him, in 2011 alone, the police recorded 879 robbery cases and 366 cases of kidnapping respectively, while a total of 1,609 suspects were arrested across the country.

He revealed that 766 firearms and 31,175 ammunition were recovered from suspects during the period under review, adding that 140 kidnapped victims were rescued with 208 kidnappers arrested and are currently facing prosecution.

The minister, however, lamented that the Federal Government did not have the financial muscle to buy everything for the police, and not even for the security agencies in the country.

He said: “I’m not an advocate of ‘give us more money’. No. Whatever money is given to us, we must use it well.”

Despite some operational challenges, Olubolade said police were making useful progress, stressing that achievements of the police in stemming crimes and terrorism were not publicised.

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