By Jessica Dogo
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the Kaduna State Government to re-open the tertiary institutions closed down because of the violence in Southern Kaduna.
Rev. Samson Ayokunle, the President of CAN, made the call on Thursday in Kafanchan, when he visited Southern Kaduna to donate relief materials, worth N8 million, to victims of the lingering violence.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the three tertiary institutions in the area – the Kafanchan campus of the Kaduna State University, the College of Education, Gidan-Way, and College of Nursing, Kafanchan, were shut last year.
The institutions had since remained closed, while the 2016/2017 session is already coming to an end in institutions located in other parts of the states.
Ayokunle, who expressed surprise that the schools were still closed down, advised government to open them and ensure adequate protection for the students.
The CAN President called for urgent measures to end the violence, saying that Nigeria would not have peace until people of southern Kaduna and other crisis-ridden parts in the country had peace and justice.
He said that the visit was to share in the grief of the victims of the violence.
“We came here to show our deep concern over your predicament; we know what you people are passing through. We may not have much to give you physically, but you are not alone in this situation.
“I appeal to the government to ensure an end to the attacks by herdsmen on Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country. Government must act swiftly,” he said.
Ayokunle also urged government to repair Churches and houses that were burnt down during the crisis, while also ensuring that the culprits were brought to book.
He also urged government to disarm the herdsmen accused of killing natives, and prosecute those found to be involved in the killings.
The CAN President praised the security agencies for the efforts to end the violence, but challenged them to understand that they would be held responsible if the violence persisted.
He also advised the security men against restricting their activities to roadblocks along the highways, while the hinterlands were being attacked.
Ayokunle said that security men must be sincerely committed to ending the violence, and cautioned them against looking the other way when evil was going on.
Earlier, the CAN Secretary, Kaduna State, Rev. Sunday Ibrahim, described the visit as a morale booster, and described it as “very great significance to the Southern Kaduna people”.
Ibrahim urged government to ensure security to farmers to enable return to the farms so as to feed the people.
He urged the victims to remain hopeful, and cautioned against reprisal attacks.
“The Bible is clear here. Vengeance is the Lord’s. He is all knowing and shall intervene at the right time,” Ibrahim said. (NAN)