Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has disclosed on Thursday, said Nigerians were living in hell as a result of the weak economy under the current administration of the All Progressives Congress.
According to the association, the weak economy has thrown millions of Nigerians into abject poverty and hunger such that Nigerians can hardly afford a square meal per day.
All these, the northern CAN notes, remain the recipe for “criminality and crime” which negatively affect education as well as the quality of healthcare.
The religious body expressed concern that those who mismanaged the economy were using hunger as a weapon as the 2023 general election approached.
Against this background, the northern CAN called on Nigerians to ensure that the 2023 general election would be conducted in an atmosphere of peace, noting that “election is not war” as “no politician is worth dying for.”
This was according to a communique issued at the end of a two-day National Executive Council Meeting of the northern CAN in Kaduna.
The communique was jointly signed by its Chairman, Rev. Yakubu Pam, who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission; the Secretary General, Elder Sunday Oibe, and released to newsmen on Thursday.
The communique read;
The NEC of CAN in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, met on September 4-5, 2022, in Kaduna. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of Northern CAN, Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam.
The meeting deliberated on a wide range of issues affecting Christians in the North and the state of the nation. Some of the issues deliberated upon include the harsh economic situation in the country which had brought about mass poverty and hunger among millions of Nigeria; the 2023 general election; insecurity; and the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government.
Our weak economy has thrown millions of Nigerians into abject poverty and hunger. Life is becoming a living hell as people struggle to make ends meet. Almost on a daily basis, prices of food and essential items are on the increase. Many families can barely get one square meal in a day. There is no denying the fact that there is poverty and hunger in the land. The reality on the ground is evident for all to see. Poverty and hunger affects all spheres of life. It fuels criminality and crime; it affects education; it affects quality healthcare. Hunger affects citizens political choices.
Also stated in the communique;
Already, those who mismanaged the economy are using hunger as a weapon as the 2023 general election approaches. We call on governments at all levels to address the problem of poverty and hunger in Nigeria.
We call on Nigerians to ensure that the 2023 elections are conducted under peaceful atmosphere without rancour. Election is not war. No politician is worth dying for. No one should take the laws into his or her hands. The Independent National Electoral Commission should ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible.
We call on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to ensure peaceful transition at the end of his tenure in 2023. That is the enduring legacy he will leave behind.
Added in the communique;
Political actors must play politics according to the rules of the game, devoid of rancour. Party leaders, flag bearers, party members, supporters and fans must conduct themselves with decorum and focus their campaigns on how they intend to address the myriads of problems bedeviling the country. They must not engage in any act or conduct that can incite violence or constitute a breach of the peace anywhere during their campaigns.
Northern CAN also wishes to call on the youths not to allow themselves to be used as instruments of violence by any politician. Note that the children of some of these politicians who recruit the youths as thugs, are schooling abroad. Parents should caution their children against being recruited as hooligans by politicians.
Besides, Northern CAN also expressed deep concern about the prolonged strike by ASUU, calling on the university lecturers and the FG to resolve their differences in the best interest of the nation and the future of the children.
This was as association commended the gallant military and other security agencies for the ongoing efforts to crush bandits, terrorists and other criminal elements unleashing mayhem on Nigerians, especially, in the North.
The communique said;
We are happy with the release of the remaining 23 abducted victims of the March 28 attack on the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train.