CAN opposes ban on school prayers, provision of grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen

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ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned state governments and concerned authorities scheming to stop prayers and assembly devotion in primary and secondary schools across the country to have a rethink because such thoughts were “evil and must not prevail.”

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The association, however, commended Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, for reversing what it described “a wrong directive of an ambitious permanent secretary on this matter” and advised other state governments “involved in this ungodly directive” to take a cue.

According to CAN, implementing the suggestion for the establishment of grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen in all parts of the country portends “very grave danger to our national peace and security.”

The position of CAN is contained in a communique signed by its general secretary, Rev. (Dr) Musa Asake, issued to journalists on Sunday at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.

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EXCERPTS OF COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF CAN NEC MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 3RD NOVEMBER, 2015 AT THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE, ABUJA.
As a major stakeholder in the Nigeria project, we wish to observe as follows:

(A) BANNING OF ASSEMBLY DEVOTION IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SOME STATES:

CAN has received with great concern the news that some State Authoritieshave either banned Assembly devotion in our Primary and Secondary Schools or are contemplating doing so. This new trend is evil and must not prevail. While the society is working hard to inculcate good moral values in our children at this tender age through Assembly devotion in our Schools so that they can grow up to be good citizens, government policies like this will certainly draw the society several years back in moral decadence.

The fear of bomb attack or any such danger being given by some state authorities as the reason(s) for school children not to gather in prayer and learning is grossly misplaced and untenable. It is our candid opinion that government should provide adequate security where there are concerns of this nature.

We commend the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade for reversing a wrong directive of an ambitious Permanent Secretary on this matter and advise other State Authorities involved in this ungodly directive to take a cue.

(B) ESTABLISHMENT OF GRAZING RESERVES:

1)​ CAN has observed with keen interest the on-going national discussion over establishment of grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen in all parts of the country. This proposal, if implemented portends very grave danger to our national peace and security.

2)​ It is common knowledge that the herdsmen, under the guise of cattle grazing have caused fatal incidents in many parts of Nigeria currently. They have been associated with violent deaths, lethal injuries, kidnap cases, rape cases and destruction of properties, food crops, etc, in their host communities. They have transformed from herdsmen to mercenaries and armed bandits. They have converted the farmlands of their host communities into slaughter farms. This is unacceptable and should be a cause of great concern to the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians.

3) ​As a way forward we suggest that the Federal Government should encourage the State Governments where these herdsmen are predominant to establish modern ranches for them, rather than allowing them to cause problem in other parts of the country.

Establishing modern ranches for nomads is a worldwide standard best practice and this will be of immense benefit to the herdsmen and their families. The ranches will have schools, hospitals and other social amenities. The meat and other products from these ranches will be exported to other parts of the country, thus creating lucrative business and employment for the citizenry.

(4)​ The idea of acquiring parcels of land in the 36 States of Nigeria and FCT for the sole purpose of providing grazing area for the nomads and their herds of cattle should be dropped in the overall interest of national security.
God bless Nigeria.

Rev. Dr. Musa Asake
CAN National General Secretary


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