By Ralph Madugu
The ECWA leadership has commiserated with its members who lost their loved ones in recent attacks on their communities by suspected herdsmen.
In a message to its members worldwide, ECWA President, Rev. Stephen Panya Baba, said: “Let me at this point commiserate with the bereaved families of our martyred Brethren. While several states of the nation are on total lockdown, the Fulani Jihadist herdsmen continued their attacks on communities, notably the Irigwe communities in Bassa Local Government Area, of Plateau State Nigeria; the Kajuru communities in Kaduna State and the Shiroro Gbagyi and other communities in Niger State while several others in Borno, Yobe and other parts of the North East and North West of Nigeria have continued to suffer attacks from Boko Haram and bandits.”
The cleric expressed sadness that most of those attacked were already shut out from their only means of livelihood as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown and that the killings had exacerbated their plight.
Rev. Panya disclosed many in the affected communities, including ECWA members and a pastor, had lost their lives in these incessant attacks during which ECWA worship centers were also completely destroyed or set on fire.
While commending the efforts of the government and the Nigerian military in combating Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast, the ECWA helmsman still called on the government and relevant stakeholders to come to the aid of the victims who were facing persecution in the hands of the Fulani jihadist herdsmen in other parts of the country.
He lamented: “The government’s conspicuous silence and lack of action on this matter is heart rending and disturbing. While it is true that our security lies with God, it is equally true that the Bible says that God has instituted governing authorities and charged them with the responsibility of safeguarding the lives and properties of her citizens. While many in positions of governance often quote Romans 13:1 – 5, which calls on citizens to obey governing authorities because there is no authority except that which has been established by God, they must equally accept responsibility which the passage expressly places on those in authority to do good and punish wrong.”
Rev. Panya maintained that failure to arrest and persecute the attackers had remained a terrible dark spot on the professed integrity of Buhari’s Federal Government, stating that the freedom to unleash violence being enjoyed by the Fulani herdsmen had continued to encourage them to do worse.
The cleric urged ECWA members not to despair but pray to God to enable leaders at the local, state and federal levels to rise to up to their responsibilities by putting an end to the herdsmen’s impunity to prevent citizens from resorting to self-defence which may lead the country into chaos and anarchy.
“I cannot conclude without reminding us all about the great burden of prayer,” he said, adding, “I am daily clamouring for the deliverance of Leah Sharibu, Alice Loksha Ngaddah, Grace Lukas and Lillian Gyang, all whom are ECWA daughters still in captivity of Boko Haram. Let us seize this opportunity of lockdown to intensify our intercession for their deliverance from captivity alongside the remaining Chibok girls.”
The ECWA President had earlier paid a sympathy visit to the paramount ruler of the Irigwe people, the Bra Ngwe Rigwe, Rev. Ronku Aka, where he sympathized with the people over the recent attacks.
Rev. Baba, who was accompanied by the Miango DCC Chairman, Rev. Sunday Kosu, wondered why the killings had continued unabated and expressed worry over the unfortunate situation.
Responding, the monarch thanked the ECWA leader for always coming to their aid at difficult moments which always gave them the assurance that they are not alone.