Nigerians are hungry and insecure – Northern CAN

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The Northern wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), otherwise known as Northern CAN, has said that the worsening security and economic situation in Nigeria has plunged majority of the people into hunger, poverty, frustration and fear.

Northern CAN, in its reaction to June 12 Democracy Day celebration stated that celebrating June 12 as Democracy Day makes no meaning to the Nigerian populace in the face of the kidnapping of school children and attacks on the farming community, a situation which, it fears, may lead to school apathy and food crisis.

In a statement issued yesterday by its Public Relations Officer, Rev. Jechonia Albert, Northern CAN lamented that the security situation in the country has worsened with bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram insurgents unleashing mayhem on Nigerians, killing innocent people and sacking communities, adding that, thousands of Nigerians, especially, in rural communities, have been rendered homeless by bandits.

The statement entitled; “Democracy Day, Insecurity and the Looming Food Crisis,” reads: “June 12, declared as Democracy Day by the current administration was marked with mixed feelings across the country. In Lagos, Abuja and some Southern states, Nigerians trooped to the streets to protest against the unfortunate state of affairs in the country.

“Daily, across the country, communities are being raided, people are being killed or abducted by rampaging bandits and other criminal elements.

The security situation has crippled the economy as travelling on the highways across the country has become a nightmare to Nigerians. The rains are here but farmers cannot go to the farms for fear of being killed or abducted by bandits.

“The implication of this is that a looming food crisis stares us in the face and unless steps are taken to provide a secure environment for farmers to return to the farms, we may be in for more trouble with a hungry and frustrated population.

“Furthermore, Northern CAN is also concerned about the frequent attacks on schools and the abduction of students and pupils by bandits, especially, in states such as Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Niger.

“We fear that these attacks, if not checked, many parents will be discouraged and children would be forced to abstain from school, given the recent cases in Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger states, where parents of abducted schoolchildren paid hundreds of millions of naira to bandits for the release of their children.

“We fear that if nothing is done to stop the attacks and abductions in schools, many parents may not send their children to school again. This will bring about the serious setback to the quest by the North to bridge the wide educational gap between it and the Southern states of Nigeria.

“We join other Nigerians to call on the Federal Government to urgently address the security situation once and for all to liberate Nigerians from criminal gangs and their reign of terror.

“We appreciate the efforts by the security agencies despite the challenges they also face in protecting Nigerians. Many of them have lost their lives while others were injured in the line of duty, partly as a result of lack of equipment to confront the criminals.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly promised to address the security situation. He reiterated this during his broadcast on Democracy Day, promising to protect Nigerians. We urge the President to go beyond rhetoric and match his words with action this time around in order to inspire confidence among Nigerians.

“On democracy, Northern CAN holds that there is nothing to celebrate in view of the excruciating pain and hardship Nigerians are facing. Democracy is about recognising and guaranteeing the fundamental human rights of the citizens. It is about allowing the will of the people to take pre-eminence in matters of public concern. The larger majority of Nigerians cannot breathe because of certain undemocratic tendencies of our leaders.

“Against this backdrop and the prevailing economic and security challenges, celebrating June 12 as Democracy Day makes no meaning to the Nigerian populace hence not worth celebrating,” said Northern CAN.

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