The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has urged Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state to do everything possible to apprehend the killers of Agom Adara, Maiwada Raphael Galadima, and other citizens of the state.
The religious body made the urge in a statement by Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, in reaction to a purported threat by the governor to arraign a senior pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Paul Enenche over alleged hate speech.
The statement reads in part: “While CAN abhors hate speech in whatever form, it is becoming very difficult to determine what constitutes ‘hate speech’ and who should be responsible for assessing what constitutes the hate speech.
“It has become much difficult to know whose speech is to be regarded as hate speech and which speech should not.
“We have carefully read the threat by Governor el-Rufai and his claim to know who is responsible for the ‘hate speech’ that promoted the crises in Kaduna State and his vow to get Pastor Enenche arrested and prosecuted.
“We have also examined the video clip of the pastor and are abreast of all the facts concerning the Kasuwan Magani killings, among others.
“The main subject of Dr. Enenche’s clip, which Governor el-Rufai is alleging to be a hate speech, to us, is an outright condemnation of the fate that has befallen the Adara people and Christians in Southern Kaduna through the creation of new emirates, namely, Lere, Kagarko and Kujuru.”
CAN argued further that, “based on careful study of the speech, Enenche is not the originator of what he (Enenche) spoke about. Rather, he was speaking about what he read or heard from the news.”
The body noted that though it abhorred hate speech by religious leaders and other Nigerians, “we cannot stand and watch our respected leaders being set up for molestation, humiliation and prosecution for an unfounded hate speech.”
CAN said that since the Kaduna State Government has been able to identify those lamenting over the unabated killings of Christians in Kaduna and other states in the Middle Belt, it should also seek to apprehend and prosecute the killers.
The association warned that, “Any attempt to arrest and harass any of our pastors again will be considered as an attempt to silence the voice of the Church and reasoning in our nation.”