Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Ayo Oritsejafor, on Sunday asked President Goodluck Jonathan to arrest and prosecute Muhammadu Buhari and his cohorts in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) before they plunge the nation into another civil war.
Oritsejafor told reporters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos that the quest for a united Nigeria will not materialise if the country allows those fanning the embers of disunity to roam the streets free.
“I believe in one indivisible Nigeria, but I also believe that if Nigeria is ever going to remain one nation, which I believe it could, then certain persons must be sanctioned because of this continued violence we are experiencing in the Northern part of Nigeria,” he said.
“Let us not pretend by always saying the violence is taking place in some parts of the country. Muhammadu Buhari and others like him should not be allowed to roam the streets of this country because they are part of the confusion that has enveloped the nation today.”
Oritsejafor noted that the government has already blamed Buhari for the post-election mayhem in the North, which has also claimed the lives of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.
He said in any decent society someone like Buhari would face the full weight of the law.
He argued that there are several other influential individuals the security agencies may have fingered in the violence, and wondered why they have not arrested and prosecuted them.
“I don’t know how the Federal Government should sanction sponsors of such mayhem that has left hundreds of innocent Nigerians dead, but I think the government should do something to keep this nation one indivisible entity for the benefit of every citizen.
“I believe we are experiencing violence in parts of the North because certain highly placed persons in this country magnified the PDP problem of zoning offices and gave the impression to the electorate and the generality of Northerners, especially the gullible illiterates, that it was their turn to rule.
“Basically, what we are seeing today is the fact that they feel that it is their turn to rule. Those people who are perpetrating the mayhem do not know who won election and in what place.
“In fact, you will recall that the violence started long before the INEC Chairman (Attahiru Jega) declared the results, and sadly the mayhem is mostly in the states where Buhari won.”
In Oritsejafor’s view, certain persons blew the PDP zoning matter out of proportion and “made it look like it was their right, given to them by God, that they must rule and nobody else from any other part of the country has the right to lead this country.
“That is the major cause of the problem the nation currently faces, as evidenced in the inciting utterances of certain individuals, including Buhari, who, for example, called on his supporters to protect their votes and lynch anybody attempting to rig the elections.
“What exactly are they saying to the people by that statement? You are telling them to take the laws into their hands and kill people and that is exactly what they are doing now.”
Oritsejafor said certain persons have a religious agenda at the back of their mind, but “I know that everybody wants to run away from that issue. Nobody wants to talk about it, and we think that is the way to build a virile and united Nigeria; as long as we pretend and sweep the problem under the carpet.
“We will never arrive at a solid, united, indivisible, and powerful Nigeria unless we are prepared to tell the truth to each other and face the truth. There are those who already have a religious agenda and they have been promoting it and working very hard to implement it.
He insisted that these are the people behind the violence in the North, taking advantage of the political atmosphere to create the impression that it is all political and not religious.
“If the problem is purely political, why are churches being burnt? Why are Southern NYSC members being targeted? Why are pastors being killed? Why are Christians generally being hunted in different parts of the North to be killed?
“It is because the religious agenda is real and there is a religious undertone to all the crises in the North.
"These are facts that the security agencies should dispassionately look at and treat with dispatch with a view to arresting the perpetrators and prosecuting same for the sake of peace of the nation.
“These people must not be allowed to go on like this. The government must wield the big stick at this time and do whatever it has to do to put to a permanent stop to all this madness and bring peace to this country.
“We cannot continue to allow this thing to go on like this. Enough is enough.”