The Federal Government’s decision to proscribe Boko Haram and Ansaru Islamic fundamentalist sects has been hailed by the Christian Association of Nigeria, saying the action was long overdue.
The national Christian body also called for immediate dissolution of Boko Haram amnesty committee on the ground that it had become irrelevant.
The Federal Government, on Tuesday, issued a statement outlawing the Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, also known as Ansaru, who unleashed mayhem on the polity in the northern axis of the country, with 20 years jail term for anybody associating with them.
The General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, articulated the association’s position to Vanguard, shortly after a press conference on the launching of a nationwide campaign for the restoration of core values in the society, coming up on July 14, in Abuja.
“CAN has always had one position; it has always believed that these groups should have been designated before this time.
“CAN President has spoken on this and he got opposition from people, even when he addressed the congress of United States, he came back home, and some people were even saying he should be arrested, but we thank God that we are alive today to witness what Pastor Oritsejafor said is true.
“The federal government was very slow but thank God, now the government has woken up from its own sleep, to know that these are evil groups who do not know God.
“They were killing Christians, burning down churches, people were not saying much, the so-called northern elders were not saying much, but God has unveiled them. We now known that these are criminals, these are just blood-thirsty people, they don’t mean well for Nigeria.
“If you see the unveiling of the bushes, where they have their syringes, they drug themselves; they have condoms, for what? These are the people that want to replace the constitution of the country with Sharia, to do away with churches.
“Federal government, thank you for the step you have taken, even though it is late, it is better late than never,” Asake said.
On the N1.1b ransom placed on Shekau by the United States government, Rev. Asake said it was belated, adding that their action at the beginning of the insurgence was lackadaisical.
“The US is coming too late. They were trying to behave as if this issue was not very serious, because it was not touching them. But I believe that there were some influential Nigerians from the north that tried to dissuade the US,” he said.
The CAN scribe said with the latest development, the amnesty committee was no longer relevant and should, therefore, be dissolved, and urged Christians not to cease praying for the country.
“CAN has been consisted right from the beginning. We don’t need amnesty committee. We called on the federal government that it was going to waste taxpayers’ money, but they did not listen.
“Now, tell me what is that committee doing now, what are they going to do, when the groups are running away and their evil act are discovered. We are fascinated. It is only General Buhari who is trying to defend them. We don’t need any amnesty committee,” Rev. Asake maintained.
Similarly, the faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, led by Maxi Okwu, has also commended President Goodluck Jonathan over the proscription of Boko Haram and its splinter group, Ansaru, declaring their activities illegal and acts of terrorism.