The President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has called on the Federal Government to “impose full scale emergency rule” in the North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, where the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect have been unrelenting.
According to the CAN leader, the Federal Government has been pampering the states with the emergency rule, stressing that a full military operation without democratic institutions in place would restore normalcy to the North East region.
Speaking with journalists on Friday evening in Abuja during a special prayer session for the protection and safe return of the over 230 abducted female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno Sate, Oritsejafor argued that the continued stay of governors of the three states in office side by side with military operation had not produced the desired result.
The CAN President, while justifying his support for the extension of emergency rule in the three states, insisted that without the military operations, Boko Haram would have over ran the governments in the affected states.
He cited the example of Borno State where, prior to the declaration of the emergency rule, the sect had carved out the greater percentage of the state as its territory.
Oritsejafor said, “Government is very justified by extending the emergency rule in the North Eastern part of the country. Like I always say, before the state of emergency was declared, more than half of Borno state, for example was in the hands of Boko Haram.
“If it was not declared, what would have happened by now? I believe that extending the state of emergency is good, probably they should even go further than that. I believe there is a problem on ground right now, it is like the military and the governors are working at cross purposes.
“It is better to move civilians out of the way and then go straight with full military operation”.
According to Oritsejafor, the country would not have had issue of Chibok in its hands if there had been a definitive line of control.
He said, “We were told WAEC told the governor that those girls in Chibok Girls Secondary School should be taken to Maiduguri. But the governor was quoted to have said ‘no’, that they were safe in the place. So who do you hold responsible?
“Now you are holding the military responsible, but WAEC did not write the military, it wrote to the governor. If a military man was in charge, probably we would not be talking like this”, he added.
The cleric also opposed the prisoner swap arrangement for the abducted girls, arguing that succumbing to the sect’s demand would lay a very bad precedent.
According to him, giving in to such proposition would increase the wave of criminality in the country with disastrous consequences.
On the expected outcome of the national prayer, Oritsejafor declared “My expectation is that Nigeria will be recovered from the hands of the wicked. Those who do not want this country to exist, those who want to use the thing on ground for political purposes, God will expose them. God will expose the financiers of Boko Haram and those who are sympathetic to their cause. Above all, our fervent prayer is that our girls would be recovered and this nation will be a nation of peace in Jesus name”.