The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has frowned at the release of all five suspects linked to the murder of a 74-year-old woman, Bridget Agbahime, in Kano state.
It would be recalled that Mrs. Agbahime, who was accused of blasphemy, was killed some months ago at Kofar Wambai Market area in Kano State.
CAN, in a statement by its director of public affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, noted that the fundamental responsibility of government is to protect lives and property of the citizens and not to shield criminals.
The Association further noted that of all cases of murder under the pretense of blasphemy, there is “no single prosecution record” of the criminal act by the Federal Government.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria is deeply saddened by the news of the release without trial of the five suspects accused of killing a 74 year old Christian woman in Kano, Mrs Bridget Agbahime who was murdered sometime in June, 2016. This is a highly provocative and insultive act on our collective sensitivities as a democratic nation if the newspapers reports are correct,” CAN said.
“The Association condemns the continuous act of killing of innocent Nigerians under the pretence of blasphemy and considers the willful absence of justice for victims of these mindless killings in Nigeria by the relevant authorities as a very serious constitutional breach and security threat to our unity and collective survival as a nation. The now-familiar tradition of avoidance to arrest or properly investigate and prosecute cases involving the deliberate killing of innocent Nigerians is evidence of a scripted plan to operate another nation within the Nigerian state and to deny justice to those who truly deserve justice.
“The cardinal responsibility of Government to protect the lives and property of the citizens is sacrosanct and must not be sacrificed on the altar of religious convenience. As it stands today, there is no single prosecution record of any criminal who killed under the pretence of blasphemy in Nigeria despite the number of victims and incontrovertible facts showing that those killings were done in daylight and mostly by persons who live within the communities where these heinous crimes were committed.
“The Association calls on the Kano State Government and the Inspector General of Police to execute justice on behalf of the blood calling out for it. The act of condoning crass criminality in the name of blasphemy deserves greater attention and broader treatment in this era of transforming the mindset of the citizens to work toward progressive change.
“As the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, we will not relent in our effort to ensure that justice is served on the religiously intolerant and to ensure that all Nigerians are treated equally irrespective of their faith, social status and where they come from.
“CAN deeply sympathizes with the family of the Kano victim over the rather very sad outcome of the case and assures that the pursuit of justice is a noble task of all well-meaning citizens working together toward a more decent and better society.”