by Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has expressed anger over new murders and kidnappings in the region, as well as the monetary policy that politicians are propagating towards the upcoming general elections in the country.
The elders said they were surprised by the deteriorating situation in many parts of the northern zone, calling on governments at the state and federal levels to provide security forces with the necessary support to sustain the push against the insurgency.
In a statement signed by the NOSCEF Chairman, Ejoga Inalegwu also noted that politicians have embarked on massive distribution of money to buy votes, but advised the electorate to be prepared to reject those who propagate exclusionary policies and make them unattractive to the future.
“NOSCEF again expresses its concern about the incessant murders in the north, specifically against Christian clerics. Communities in southern Kaduna and Niger states are the most affected. With the improvement in the surveillance and dissuasion measures that the Security Forces are taking to deal with insecurity, we are surprised by the deterioration of the situation that is taking place in these areas.
“We call on governments at the state and federal levels to provide the Security Forces with the necessary support to sustain the push against the insurgency plaguing the nation, especially as we approach the 2023 elections, so that no section of the country is deprived of its rights for reasons of insecurity
“We were thrilled when politicians were able to make overnight visits to hitherto highly insecure areas only to be met with sustained attacks on communities in South Kaduna at around the same time.
“As the 2023 election approaches, we urge parents to advise their wards not to come forward to be used as political thugs to cause violence during the upcoming election.
“We urge Nigerians to let down the politicians who, in their desperate bid to win the election at all costs, embarked on a divisive policy of exclusion, despite the pleas of patriotic Nigerians. We urge Nigerians, with one voice, through the ballot box to send the message that we reject those who believe that winning an election is more important than the harmonious existence of the nation.
“Remember that the massive money you are using to buy votes and get people to compromise their conscience is our money. Whether or not you collect your ill-gotten money, be prepared to push back against those who propagate foreclosure policies and make it unattractive for the future.
“We urge all registered voters to collect their PVCs in order to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections.
“Our hearts go out to the families of Reverend Father Achi, who was burned alive in Niger State, his assistant who was shot, the many recently killed in the Kagoro attacks, the 25 people kidnapped during church service yesterday, 15 January 2023 in Katsina. state and a host of others in the recent past.
“We pray for the comfort of the families of the murdered, the Church and God’s intervention for the kidnapped and the speedy recovery of the wounded.” The statement said.