Asaba — THE Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Ughelli Diocese, Delta State, has called on the Federal Government not to abdicate its responsibility of protecting all Nigerian citizens, insisting that no set of persons engaging in criminal activities should be treated as sacred cows.
A communique at the end of the second session of the Seventh Synod, held at St Paul's Church, Ekete Inland, by the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt Rev Cyril Odutemu and Ven Daniel Edjere, urged security agencies to adequately protect lives and property.
Calling on traditional rulers, communities and individuals to be more security conscious, the church said that their security and safety are primarily their own responsibilities.
The communique said, "We are worried that the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen have continued unabated and unchecked. The recurring and orchestrated killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, mass killings in parts of Benue State and others across the country have increased suspicion that the so-called herdsmen are an extension of terrorist groups carrying out an evil agenda of ethnic and religious cleansing. Characteristically, these mindless attacks are often unprovoked.
"They sack entire villages, rape women and girls, maim, kidnap, kill and commit other forms of violence while destroying farmlands and economic sources, which are the natives' source of livelihood. Several communities in Delta State such as Uwheru, Olomu, Abraka, to mention but a few, have been under siege by these herdsmen. Very appalling is the near silence and indifference of the Federal Government and the ineffectiveness of the security agencies to tackle this problem."
"We therefore, call on the Church today to wake up, be keenly observant, watchful, vigilant and mindful of the enemies of our souls and our faith. Rather than become careless, indifferent, anxious or fearful in the face of these threatening events and disturbing trends, Christians must be more prayerful, focused and strategic in order to escape the many dangers looming in the atmosphere, being conscious that the world is coming to an end and at last to triumph and be able to stand before our Lord Jesus Christ.
"We frown at the growing trend of conspiracy and blackmail against churches, Christian organisations and Christian ministers in our society today, especially in the media. The social media is awash with stories and news that seem obviously crafted, exaggerated or twisted to frame up, indict, malign, vilify and denigrate the reputation of revered ministers of God and the Church.
"Painfully, many gullible persons, including some Christians, quickly rush to share and make negative comments without investigating or verifying these stories. While there is so much effort to harass and intimidate the church, the evil activities of those committing heinous crimes by destroying lives and property in the name of their religion, are hardly mentioned.
"This is obviously one of the weapons that Satan and the enemies of our faith are using to attack the Church of God - and Christians must be watchful. Synod wishes to strongly caution and advise all those who make such scandalous statements and wild allegations in public domain, including those who create, fabricate, post and share fake, uninvestigated, unverified and misleading sensational news to desist from such, repent and find better things to do, in order to escape the inevitable wrath and judgment of God."